Lakeland, Fla. – Southeastern took on Webber International University during midweek showdown at Ted A. Broer Stadium. The Fire appeared to be behind the eight-ball after a seven run top of the first. Showing resilience down the stretch, the Fire rallied for six runs in the bottom of the ninth, but fell just shy of the the Warriors, 10-9.
Webber scored seven runs on five hits to begin the contest. Batters 2-8 in the Warriors lineup all came around to score. Supplying the power were both Alex Rodriguez and Cristian Rivera who both homered during the frame.
With the help of Marvin Malone, Southeastern was able to answer in the bottom of the third. A two-run towering blast over the centerfield wall made the game closer, but not close enough.
Masterful relief work by Braeden Holub held the Warriors’ bats quiet from the second inning through the seventh. At one point throughout his outing Holub retired 14 straight batters. Holub, the transfer from New Mexico Junior College, concluded his night with 7.1 innings of work and six strikeouts to his credit.
Although the visiting team’s bats were held silent for six consecutive frames, the Warriors added two runs in the top of the eighth, one of which came on a wild pitch. Rivera was credited for driving in the Warriors’ 9th run of the contest. He finished the game 2-4 with three RBIs.
Dan Valerio countered a pair of runs scored in the top of the eighth with a solo blast over to cut the lead to 9-3.
Down to their final three outs the Fire looked like a team on a mission. A costly error in left field loaded the bases for Dominic Anagnos. Anagnos doubled down the left field line clearing the pillows, bringing the game within four.
The Fire were not done there. After Malone was hit by a pitch, Valerio launched his second home run. A two-run moonshot over the scoreboard in left made it a one run ballgame.
Still with no one out in the inning, Webber’s head coach Brad Niethammer was forced to bring the third reliever of the inning out of the bullpen. After committing an error in left field, Jesse Coleman entered the game in relief and struck out the side to put the game on ice.
Five batters within the the Fire’s lineup collected multiple hits. Anagnos, Malone, and Marcus Stump all finished 2-4. Keiner Colmenarez and Valerio finished 3-5 and 2-5, respectively. Valerio’s four RBIs moves his season total to 71, which leads all of the NAIA by 13.
Southeastern will be back in action on Friday when they travel south to take on Florida Memorial. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.