Fire Solidify Weekend Sweep of Crusaders with Consistent Hitting

by | Mar 3, 2019 | RRSN News | 0 comments

LAKELAND, Fla. – On a day where the Fire plated 26 runs on 26 hits, the No. 1 Southeastern University baseball team took both games of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader over the receiving votes Madonna University Crusaders to sweep the weekend series 4-0. SEU took the first game 13-8 before cruising to a 13-1 victory in the series finale.
The Fire wasted little time getting on the board, plating four runs on six hits in the bottom of the first. Junior outfielder Abdel Guadalupe crossed the plate first on an error before senior shortstop Adam De La Cruz cleared the bases with a three-RBI double down the left field line.
The Crusaders plated a run in the top of the second to snap an 11-inning scoreless streak versus the Fire.
SEU went on to tack on four more unanswered runs, scoring two each in the bottom of the second and third frames. Senior catcher Willie Estrada hit his second home run of the series and third of the season in the bottom of the third, a solo shot to center.
Three Madonna runs in the top of the fourth and another in the fifth trimmed the SEU lead down to 8-5.
Junior right-handed pitcher Nick Ferngren was able to provide solid relief for SEU in his first appearance for Southeastern this season. The Broward College transfer recorded all four of his outs on the mound as strikeouts, punching out four in 1.1 innings tossed and earning the winning decision.
The Fire opened the game back up with five runs on two hits and two errors in the bottom of the sixth to grow their lead to 13-5. A three-run rally is all the crusaders were able to muster in the top of the seventh.
The Fire blew the contest open almost immediately, driving in seven runs on seven hits in the first inning of play. RBI doubles by Seniors Dan Valerio, Noah Strohl, and De La Cruz, as well as RBI singles by senior Dominic Anagnos and junior Carlos Viera highlighted the frame.
Viera had a torrid day at the plate, driving in two more runs in the bottom of the second on a single to left. The Arecibo, Puerto Rico native was 3-4 at the plate in game two with five runs batted in and a home run.
An RBI single by senior Manuel Mesa later in the bottom of the second gave the Fire a commanding 11-0 lead after two innings.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jayden Hartle tossed five innings of shutout baseball, striking out four, walking just one, and allowing no extra-base hits in his second win of the season.
Strohl belted his second home run of the season in the bottom of the third to put the Fire ahead 12-0. Viera made it 13-0 in favor of SEU in the bottom of the sixth with his long ball.
The Crusaders broke the Fire shutout in the top of the seventh with a sacrifice fly.
Southeastern outscored Madonna 43-12 over the four-game series, out-hitting the Crusaders 44-23.
Strohl was 5-8 at the plate today, driving in three runs and scoring five.
Valerio hit .615 at the plate on the weekend versus the Crusaders. After batting just .167 at the plate with three runs batted in through his first 11 contests, the Tinton, Falls, N.J. native his belting .647 with eight RBIs over his last six.
Jayden Hurtle has now allowed just one extra-base hit in 21 innings compiled for SEU.
Southeastern is back in action on Tuesday with a seven inning game versus Spring Arbor at 3 p.m., followed by a nine-inning contest against No. 12 Tennessee Wesleyan at 6:30 p.m.

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