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No. 1 Southeastern Downs No. 21 Warner in Friday Night Showdown
LAKE WALES, Fla.- The No. 1 Southeastern University baseball team made a statement-return to Sun Conference play Friday night, rocketing past the No. 21 Warner University Royals 10-0 in an eight-inning 10-run rule contest. With the win, SEU improved to 8-0 in TSC play on the season and took game one of the weekend series.
Senior left-handed pitcher Felix Dieguez dazzled under the newly-implemented lights at Royals Field. Dieguez held Warner hitless through the first three innings of action, recording four of his eight strikeouts during that stretch. The Tampa native improved to 4-0 on the season with the win.
“We got off to a slow start, but Felix did a great job putting zeroes up and allowing our offense time to find a rhythm,” shared head coach Adrian Dinkel.
The Fire trickled in runs throughout the early to middle innings versus the Royals. SEU struck first in the top of the third, thanks to an RBI single off the bat of senior outfielder Mike Taylor Jr. that scored Carlos Viera.
In the top of the fifth, it was Taylor Jr. with another RBI single, this time bringing Manuel Mesa home. Senior infielder Ivan Nunez tacked on another for SEU with a double to left center that scored Taylor Jr. Senior infielder Dominic Anagnos capped off the three-run inning for Southeastern with a sacrifice fly to left that was deep enough to score Nunez.
The top of the seventh inning proved to be the difference-maker for the Fire at the plate. After Warner put two outs on the boards, SEU loaded the bases thanks to a hit by pitch and back-to-back singles. A bases-loaded walk brought Adam De La Cruz home, grew the Fire lead to 5-0, and brought Nunez to the batter’s box.
Ivan Nunez blew open the contest with one swing of the bat, as he belted a grand slam home run, his eighth homer of the season, to put Southeastern ahead of Warner 9-0 in the top of the seventh.
Nunez finished the night 3-4 at the plate with five runs batted in.
A bases-loaded passed ball by Warner in the top of the eighth scored Colton Onstott and put the Fire ahead 10-0.
After allowing back-to-back WU hitters aboard the base paths, junior righty Nick Ferngren struck out three-straight Royals in relief to close out the contest in the bottom of the eighth.
The Fire look to earn the series sweep over the Royals with a doubleheader in Lake Wales scheduled for Noon and 3 p.m.