LAKELAND, Fla. — Jamal Wilson put his team in a position to win with a dominating performance on the mound, but Webber International used a five-run eighth Friday to beat Southeastern at home, 7-5.
Wilson set a new school single-game record, striking out 16 hitters, breaking Patrick Kinney’s three-year-old mark of 14. The senior gave up just two hits, walked one, and hit another in 7.1 innings of work.
He exited the game with one out and a runner on first in the eighth inning, leading 4-2. Rivera then got two Warriors to strike out, but on the second, Marcus Begg ran to first on a dropped third strike. It appeared Gerald Ceballos’ throw to Mike D’Acunti officially recorded the out, but Begg was ruled safe at first.
The Warriors took advantage of the second chance, getting an RBI single, then loaded the bases, which were cleared on a double off the left field wall by Connor Clayton to put Webber up 7-4.
Luis Diaz picked up an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning, but the Fire were unable to get any more runs.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, D’Acunti drove in SEU’s first run with a sacrifice fly to bring in Diaz, who led off with a double. The Warriors regained the lead in the top of the second on a solo homer by Sjaghbar Martis.
Wilson then retired the next 15 hitters he saw, which included striking out the side in the fourth and fifth innings. Along with his 16 strikeouts, he also coaxed five groundouts.
Southeastern tied the game on Angel Garced’s third homer of the year in the third inning, then took the lead on a double by Ceballos.
The Fire tacked on a run in the sixth on an RBI single by De’John Suber.
Diaz and Suber led the offense with two hits each.
The two teams will meet Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at noon.