LAKELAND, Fla.—It couldn’t have gone much better for Jonathan Bermudez in his start against Warner.
The junior struck out 16 batters, and faced the minimum number of hitters in a 7-0 win over the Royals, posting the second no-hitter in the last 10 days by an SEU pitcher.
Bermudez improved to 9-0 on the season, throwing nine shutout innings, allowing just one baserunner with a walk to the second hitter of the game, but retired him with an inning-ending double play. The 16 strikeouts marked his fourth consecutive start with 10 or more strikeouts, and hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 31.2 innings of work.
At one point, Bermudez had struck out seven consecutive batters, striking out the last two hitters of the second, all three in the third, and first two of the fourth.
“In the seventh inning, I looked at the scoreboard and noticed I had a no hitter, I knew I had to gas it out and keep throwing strikes,” said Bermudez. “I was just trying to empty the tank and the motivation of the guys kept me going.”
It wasn’t just the Warner (21-12, 4-6 TSC) bats that were baffled. The Fire didn’t register its first hit until Manuel Mesa doubled to right center, but was out at third stretching. With two outs and the bases empty, Marvin Malone dented the run column with a solo homer to center, marking his ninth of the season.
“We chased pitches down in the zone early and allowed them to get ahead in the count,” said coach Adrian Dinkel. “We finally started forcing them up in the zone and good things happened.”
Southeastern (35-2, 10-0 TSC) broke the game open in the sixth, loading the bases with nobody out. Malone was hit by a pitch for his second RBI of the night, and Nick Bottari made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to center field. Dan Valerio added two more with a single to center field, and Vince Volpatti made it 6-0 with an RBI groundout.
Torrence Summerlin’s fourth homer of the season in the bottom of the seventh gave the Fire a seven-run advantage.
In the ninth, Bermudez struck out the first two hitters he saw on swings and misses, then coaxed a lineout into the glove of Dominic Anagnos to conclude the night.
“He was unbelievable,” said Dinkel. “When he gets in a groove and gets his pitches going, he’s tough to hit and fun to watch.”
The two teams will complete the conference series on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at noon.