Fire Roar Past Grizzlies in Game One of Weekend Series

by | Feb 2, 2019 | RRSN News | 0 comments

No. 1 Southeastern Takes First of Three Game Set Versus No. 3 Georgia Gwinnett

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – In a game that had the feel of a primetime match-up in Lewiston, the No. 1 Southeastern University baseball team topped the No. 3 Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies 6-4 to take game one of the weekend series.

“We are happy with the result. Any time you can roll into a place like this so early in the season and get a win you’ll take it, especially with how thin we are with injuries right now,” shared head coach Adrian Dinkel.

The Fire struck early versus the Grizzlies, scoring one in the top of the first via an RBI-double by junior outfielder Abdel Guadalupe that scored junior outfielder Mike Taylor Jr.

Senior left-handed pitcher Felix Dieguez had his first start of 2019 cut short, being forced out of the game due to injury after just 1.2 innings pitched.

Dieguez was replaced on the mound by junior righty Keven Long, a transfer from Missouri Baptist. After a shaky start where Long surrendered the tying run in the bottom of the third frame, the Dixon, Ill. native settled in, retiring nine of the next 10 Grizzlies he faced.

“My mindset was just to go out there, throw strikes, and save our bullpen for tomorrow. I found a rhythm after my first inning. I lost the slider but was able to find the curveball and the fastball down the stretch,” commented Long.

Long was prolific down the stretch in his 6.1 inning, 93 pitch relief effort, sitting down the final six Georgia Gwinnett batters he faced in the seventh and eighth frames. Long totaled six strikeouts for the Fire.

The Fire pulled back ahead in the top of the fourth off the bat of senior third baseman Ivan Nunez, who pulverized a fastball on a 2-1 count over the left field wall to put the Fire ahead 2-1.

Southeastern tacked on a pair of insurance runs in both the eighth and ninth frames.

In the eighth, senior shortstop Adam De La Cruz crossed the plate on a bases-loaded wild pitch. Later in the frame, junior catcher Colton Onstott came through for the Fire in a pinch-hit opportunity, driving home Taylor Jr. on a single up the middle to put SEU up 4-1.

In the top of the ninth, junior infielder Carlos Viera was brought home via a sacrifice fly by Taylor Jr. Senior outfielder Manuel Mesa advanced to third on the batted ball and scored later on a wild pitch.

The Grizzlies almost mounted a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, plating three runs on three hits and a pair of Fire errors.

“I’m proud of our guys for tacking on those runs late. We just need to learn to control our emotions and understand we want to be the aggressor,” added Dinkel.

However, a groundout to senior pitcher Heibert Romero silenced the Georgia Gwinnett threat and preserved the SEU victory.

The Fire looks to capture the series win Saturday as they take on the Grizzlies in doubleheader action. Game times are set for Noon and 3 p.m.

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