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No. 3 Southeastern Edged by No. 4 St. Thomas in Weekend Power Showcase
LAKELAND, Fla. – On a day where power hitting prevailed, the No. 3 Southeastern University baseball team dropped its first Sun Conference series of the season. The Fire split Saturday’s doubleheader to fall in the weekend series 2-1. SEU was victorious in game one of the doubleheader 14-9 before dropping the second contest 13-8.
In game one, the Fire got on the board first in the bottom of the second. A wild pitch allowed junior Infielder Ivan Nunez to advance from third and score. Later in the inning, junior shortstop Adam De La Cruz doubled to right center, driving in Dan Valerio to put SEU ahead 2-0.
The Bobcats retaliated in the top of the third when senior infielder Jackie Urbaez hit a grand slam home run to put STU ahead 4-2. Urbaez finished the weekend series hitting .333 (4-12) with 10 runs batted in and a homer in each game.
The Fire answered back in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of two-run long balls by De La Cruz and Malone that put SEU back in front 6-4.
A two-RBI double by Nelson Mompierre in the top of the fifth evened things back up 6-6.
SEU compiled another four-run inning in the bottom half of the frame, stringing together the runs via RBI doubles by junior utility man Marcus Stump and junior outfielder Manuel Mesa, as well as an RBI single by De La Cruz.
De La Cruz finished just a triple short of the cycle in game one.
After surrendering six runs through his first 5.2 innings pitched, four of which were unearned, senior right-handed pitcher Jordan Scott settled in to retire seven straight and silence a powerful STU lineup on Senior Day.
The Bobcats made it a two-run game after plating two in the top of the eighth to trim the Fire lead down to 10-8. However, Southeastern fired back with its third four-run inning of the contest in the bottom half of the frame to create some insurance.
Senior reliever Eddie Jimenez picked up a trio of strikeouts in the top of the ninth to secure the Fire win.
In game two, the Fire found themselves in their largest deficit of the season. Through the top of the fourth inning, Southeastern trailed St. Thomas 8-0 thanks to a trio of STU homers.
The Fire got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single by junior third baseman Keiner Colmenarez that scored Ivan Nunez.
As the rain began to pour down, junior infielder Dominic Anagnos launched his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot that cut the STU lead down to 8-2.
With two outs in the inning, both teams entered a one hour and sixteen minute delay due to inclement weather.
The Fire came out swinging after the delay. Back-to-back RBI doubles by junior first baseman Nick Bottari and Nunez made it an 8-4 game. An RBI single by Colmenarez made it a three-run deficit.
The Bobcats brought across another in the top of the sixth to go up 9-5.
The Fire kept battling, as senior utility man Kainalu Pitoy blasted a solo homer to right field in the bottom half of the frame. An RBI double by Nunez made it a 9-7 contest.
Nunez finished the day hitting an astounding .875 (7-8) at the plate with three runs batted in and four runs scored.
A two-run home run by Mompierre put STU ahead 11-7 in the top of the eighth.
Marvin Malone responded with power, launching his second home run of the day, a towering solo shot to right field.
The Bobcats had the final word at the plate, as junior infielder Erick Delgado belted a two-run shot to center to make it 13-8.
There were 15 total home runs scored in the weekend series, more than any other weekend series ever played between the two teams. The 23 combined runs scored in game one of the doubleheader set a new record for most combined runs scored by the two programs in a single game.
The Fire look to finish the regular season on an upswing, as they travel to Jacksonville Tuesday to take on the Edward Water College Tigers. Game times are set for 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.