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No. 1 Southeastern Sweeps Ave Maria on the Road in TSC Weekend Series
AVE MARIA, Fla.- The No. 1 Southeastern University baseball team continued its dominant start in Sun Conference play Saturday afternoon. The Fire took both games of a doubleheader versus Ave Maria University by scores of 6-3 and 10-2 to sweep the Gyrenes in the weekend series. SEU is now a perfect 12-0 in Sun Conference play this season.
The Fire preserved a slim lead throughout the early goings of the contest. An RBI single in the top of the first by senior first baseman Noah Strohl drove in Dominic Anagnos to put SEU ahead 1-0.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jayden Hartle battled through some tough situations to keep the Gyrenes off the board for the majority of the contest. After allowing runners on the corners with no outs in the bottom of the second, the Payson, Utah native benefited from a double play and a strike out to evade the jam without surrendering an AMU run.
Hartle record six ground outs through his opening six frames of shutout baseball and improved to 6-0 on the season with the win.rrr
The Fire grew their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth thanks to an AMU miscue.
SEU used the long ball to increase the gap in the top of the fifth. First, Anagnos belted his second home run of the season, a solo shot. Junior catcher Colton Onstott launched a solo homer of his own later in the frame to put the Fire ahead 4-0. The long ball was Onstott’s fifth of the season.
The power surge continued for Southeastern in the top of the seventh, as Strohl hit a two-run homer to put the Fire ahead 6-0.
The Gyrenes attempted to mount a comeback, plating two runs in the bottom of the seventh and another in the bottom of the eighth.
However, senior closer Heibert Romero came in to shut Ave Maria down and earn his third save of the season.
The Gyrenes struck first in game two of the doubleheader, plating a single run in the bottom of the first.
However, SEU responded in the top of second, due largely in thanks to the bat of senior catcher Willie Estrada. Estrada hammered a 2-1 fastball with two men on over the left field wall to put the Fire ahead 3-1. An RBI grounder by Mike Taylor Jr. later in the frame allowed Ivan Nunez to cross and put SEU ahead 4-1.
After surrendering the opening run in the bottom of the first, senior right-handed pitcher Keven Long was dialed in, sitting down six of the next seven Ave Maria hitters he faced with three strikeouts during that stretch.
Long struck out nine AMU bats through his first six innings tossed. With the win, Long improved to 6-0 on the season to tie Jayden Hartle for the team lead in wins.
An Ave Maria miscue allowed the Fire to score another in the top of the fifth, while an RBI single by senior outfielder Manuel Mesa brought Nunez across and grew the SEU lead to 6-0.
After the Gyrenes snapped a six inning scoreless streak in the bottom of the seventh, the Fire opened up the game even more at the plate.
Estrada smashed his second homer of the game in the top of the eighth, a solo shot on the first pitch of the count to push his home run total on the season to eight.
Senior designated hitter Josh Nelson drove in three more in the top of the ninth with a three-run dinger, his third homer of 2019.
“Starting pitching did a phenomenal job all weekend long putting up early zeros and allowing our offense to get things going . Offensively, we were up and down but found away to put up enough runs in key situations to come out on top,” – Adrian Dinkel, Southeastern Head Coach.
The Fire take on the Florida National University Conquistadors this Tuesday at Ted A. Broer Stadium. Game times are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.