LAKELAND, Fla. — Junior right-handed pitcher Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Ill.) (2-1) threw a gem of a game for the Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Tigers on Tuesday, March 5, against Southeastern University (Fla.). In the first game of a doubleheader against the Fire, Fightmaster led the Tigers to a 6-1 win, throwing a complete game, allowing only one unearned run off one hit, while striking out seven. Game two was a close one the entire way, as the Fire scored to win the game 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
In game one, the Tigers' (5-4) bats helped Fightmaster’s cause as they scored three times in the first two innings. Justin Fahy (Fargo, N.D.) got it started by scoring on a wild pitch in the first inning after walking to start the game. In the second, Nick Jones (Bourbonnais, Ill.) singled to bring in Stefan Sauder (Morton, Ill.) and Aaron King (Pekin, Ill.) after an error by the right fielder. Southeastern scored their lone run of the game after an error gave the Fire a run.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth when Ryan Kern (Bloomington, Ill.) singled to bring in Fahy for his second run of the day. ONU scored two more runs in the seventh when Daniel Schneider (West Salem, Wis.) hit his first homer of the season to bring in Jones.
The Fire starter was Sergio Pita (2-1) who went 6 1/3 innings allowing six runs — five earned — off six hits. He struck out seven and walked two. Clay Rideout gave up two hits in 2/3 innings.
Bryan Muniz had the lone hit for the Fire, and Phil Delisle scored the run for Southeastern (8-14).
Carlos Guzman, the Southeastern designated hitter, singled to score Phil Kish in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Fire the 4-3 win over the Tigers. Freshman Eric Douglass (Indianapolis, Ind.) (0-1) gave up the winning run to the Fire, going 1 1/3 innings, allowing three total hits and walking three more. Senior Paul Griffin (Pekin, Ill.) started and went four innings allowing three runs — two earned — off four hits. Kevin Lasowski (Schererville, Ind.) pitched an inning of relief, striking out one batter.
For Southeastern, Matthew Selmer started and went five innings allowing five hits, two runs — one earned — and struck out five. Ryan Lowrey and Corey Turner pitched the sixth and gave up one run. Dylan Jameson (1-0) got the final three outs for the Fire to gain the win.
Neither team scored until the bottom of the fourth inning when Carlos Guzman doubled to score Tyler Ramsey. George Kirland singled to score Guzman to give the Fire a 2-0 lead. The Tigers responded in the fifth when Aaron King doubled, scoring Madison Foster (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Jordan Hayes (St. Charles, Ill.) after an error by the left fielder. Each team scored again in their next at-bat. Bryan Muniz hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Mac LeBoeuf. Olivet scored the same way when Foster brought home Adrian Perez (Chicago, Ill.) on a sac fly. The Tigers went one-two-three in the final at-bat and opened the door for Corbin Weeks to single in the seventh to score Phil Kish.
King finished 1-for-1 with two RBIs. Ryan Kern went 2-for-3, and Foster went 1-for-1 with one run and a RBI.
For the Fire, Corbin Weeks went 2-for-4 with one RBI, Tyler Ramsey went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Carlos Guzman had one hit, RBI and run scored.
The Tigers will continue play in the Sunshine State with a doubleheader against Hannibal-LaGrange University (Mo.) on Tuesday, March 5, starting at 9 a.m. (EST).