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No. 3 Southeastern Stays Dialed in at the Plate, Takes Doubleheader from Saint Xavier
LAKELAND, Fla. – On a day where the Fire offense combined for seven home runs and 10 extra base hits, the No. 3 Southeastern University baseball team swept the Saint Xavier University Cougars in a Friday doubleheader.
The Fire hit a combined .377 at the plate (20-53), including .316 with runners in scoring position. SEU was also relentless on the base paths, stealing 11 bases during the twin bill.
In game one, the Fire faced an early 1-0 deficit after surrendering a run in the top of the first. The Fire quickly answered back in the bottom half of the frame via solo shots by junior outfielder Manuel Mesa and junior first baseman Nick Bottari to take a 2-1 lead.
Bottari posted a spectacular day at the plate, hitting a combined .714 (5-7) at the plate with three home runs, four runs scored, and four RBIs. In his last five contests, Bottari is batting .563 with 10 runs batted in.
SEU tacked on another run in the bottom of the second by junior utility man Dan Valerio to take a 3-1 lead.
The Fire brought four across in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a pair of RBI doubles by junior outfielder Marvin Malone and Valerio, as well as a sacrifice fly by sophomore utility player Vince Volpatti.
The Fire answered a Cougar run in the top of the sixth with another big offensive outburst, driving in five runs on four hits in the bottom half of the inning. Long balls by Malone and Bottari highlighted the scoring.
Senior right-handed pitcher Jordan Scott improved to 5-1 on the season after tossing five frames, allowing just one run to cross, and striking out four.
In the second game, the Fire picked right off where they left off at the plate, using the long ball to score the opening runs of the contest. Solo home runs by Bottari in the bottom of the second and junior infielder Dominic Anagnos in the bottom of the third put SEU up 2-0.
An RBI single by Mesa scored two and put Southeastern up 4-0,
The Cougars brought three across in the top of the sixth to make it a one run contest.
Junior righty Braeden Holub provided clutch work out of the bullpen for the Fire, tossing an inning and a third of no hit baseball and striking out two on his way to earning his first save of the season.
SEU tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth off of three hits and an error.
The Fire next host Concordia (Mich.) for a doubleheader of seven inning games on Monday. Game times are set for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.