No. 4 Southeastern Receives Total Team Effort in DH Sweep of Ave Maria
BARTOW, Fla. – The No, 4 Southeastern University baseball team continued its successful start to the 2018 campaign, taking both games of a non-conference doubleheader from the Ave Maria University Gyrenes. The Fire stood tall in game one 8-3 before edging out the Gyrenes 4-3 in the second contest.
The SEU pitching staff baffled the AMU bats all day, holding the Gyrenes to just a .196 team batting average in both games combined (10-51).
Southeastern got on the board first in game one in the bottom of the first thanks to RBI singles by junior utility man Dan Valerio and junior first baseman Nick Roepken that put SEU up 2-0.
Sophomore southpaw Colton Tison, the game one winner, was dialed in from the onset of the game. Tison held the Gyrenes hitless through his first three innings of work, recording three strikeouts. The Sterling College transfer retired eight of the first nine batters he faced, picking off the lone AMU batter who reached on an error in the top of the second.
A three-run shot over the left center field fence in the bottom of the third by Dan Valerio opened things up, giving the Fire a 5-0 lead. The home run was Valerio’s second of the season.
Ave Maria answered with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, however Southeastern answered right back in the bottom half of the frame with two runs of their own. The runs were scored off a bases-loaded hit by pitch to Marvin Malone and an RBI single by junior first baseman Nick Bottari to give SEU a 7-2 advantage.
An RBI double by Valerio in the bottom of the sixth scored Malone, earned Valerio his fifth run batted in on the day, and gave the Fire an 8-3 lead.
For the sixth time in their first eight games of the season, the Fire had to battle back from a first inning deficit. Ave Maria brought one across in the top of the first to strike first.
However, SEU responded immediately via the bat of junior outfielder Marvin Malone, who blasted a leadoff home run well beyond the left field fence to even things up 1-1.
The Fire pulled ahead in the bottom half of the next frame, bringing three runs home on four hits and an error. Anagnos, Bottari, and Valerio batted in one run each in the frame to put Southeastern ahead 4-1.
The Gyrenes responded in the top of the third with a pair of runs scored to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The Southeastern bullpen buckled down to preserve the SEU lead down the stretch of the tight contest. SEU relievers tossed a combined four innings, allowing just two hits, striking out three, and not letting anything across. Junior righty Heibert Romero picked up his second save of the season, tossing a clean slate in the top of the seventh.
The Fire open up Sun Conference play this weekend with a three-game series in Babson Park versus No. 25 Webber International. Game one of the series is set for Friday at 6 p.m.