LAKELAND, Fla. – Second-ranked LC State Baseball faced both ends of the NAIA top 25 poll in No. 25 Keiser (Fla.) and No. 1 Southeastern (Fla.) on Saturday and came away 1-1 on the day.
The Warriors edged Keiser 3-2 behind strong pitching by Alec Holmes, Dallas McGill and Jake Green, but could not hold back the SEU offense in the second half of the non-traditional doubleheader.
“Pitching was very good against a competitive Keiser team,” Head Coach Jake Taylor said. “Holmes, McGill and Green held Keiser in check and our offense did just enough for the win. We couldn’t get the timely hit when we needed it against the Fire. Our pitchers missed several locations against a physical team.”
LC State is now 2-2 on the season with all opponents being in the NAIA’s top 25.
GAME ONE: No. 2 LC State def. No. 25 Keiser 3-2
Keiser put up a pair in the first on a two-run shot, but Holmes settled in with two strikeouts in the second. Sam Olsson led off the LC State half of the second with a double and Eric Mast followed with a single to put two on. Isaac Haws moved both into scoring position before an error brought courtesy runner Cruz Hepburn across. Nick Seamons tied things up with an RBI-single to left.
Holmes erased a leadoff walk with a pickoff in the top of the third and struck out two to end the frame.
The Warriors threatened in the third, but came up empty. Isaiah Thomas led the bottom of the inning off with a single before stealing second. A walk to Charlie Updegrave put two on before a groundout by Olsson moved both over. Mast drew a walk to load the bases, but Keiser was able to escape the jam without a run scoring.
McGill took the ball in the fourth and struck out the first two batters he faced as a Warrior in a 1-2-3 inning. The lefty added two more punchouts in the fifth.
LC State took the lead in the home half of the fifth. Olsson started the frame with a single to left and a walk to Mast put two on. Dominic Signorelli sent a base hit to right to knock in Hepburn, courtesy running for Olsson, and put the Warriors up 3-2.
Jake Green made his LC State debut in relief in the seventh and struck out two. He helped the Warriors out of a jam in the eighth with two more strikeouts. Green closed out the game in the ninth to earn the save.
Seamons and Olsson each had two hits for the Warriors. Seamons and Signorelli each had an RBI.
McGill earned the win in his first appearance and Green was awarded the save. Holmes, McGIll and Green each threw three innings and each struck out four.
GAME TWO: No. 1 Southeastern (Fla.) def. No. 2 LC State 8-3
The game was scoreless at the end of the first thanks to a quick inning on the mound for Cole Wilkinson. Pu’ukani De Sa ended the frame with a diving catch at second.
Jack Sheward put the game’s first run on the board with a solo shot on the first pitch of the third, but Southeastern responded with a pair of two-run blasts in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-1 lead. The Fire added another solo shot in the fourth to make it 5-1.
Seamons continued his hot streak with his third home run of the week to cut the deficit to three, 5-2, in the sixth. Doubles by De Sa and Leo Rivera pushed the score to 5-3.
The Fire added three more runs late in the game to take the contest 8-3.
Seamons and De Sa each notched two hits to lead the offense. Wilkinson struck out four in his 4.1 innings. Eli Shubert fanned three in 1.2 innings of relief.
The Warriors close out the trip against (RV) Warner (Fla.) on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
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