NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (March 15, 2023) – Florida National University’s baseball team dropped its first home game of the 2023 season in a tough 11-8 loss to the Mid-Atlantic Christian University Mustangs. FNU came into this USCAA battle fresh off a 13-3 loss to Keiser University while the Mustangs played an 11 a.m. doubleheader versus Atlantis University Tuesday.
The cloudy and cold backdrop of Claude Pepper Park did not deter a hungry FNU offense in the first. The Conquistadors produced four runs and five hits to take a 4-1 lead. A single from second baseman Alejandro De Arazoza allowed Matthew Gonzalez to go in for the score. De Arazoza and Gino Bellantoni would slide into home on a 2-RBI double from Yordangel Gonzalez. Gonzalez scored the last FNU run of the inning on a signal from catcher Jeremy De La Cruz.
FNU looked to have things under control until a disastrous fourth inning gave the mustangs a 7-4 lead, An error at first base snowballed into a six-run, three-hit inning for the visitors. FNU finally got MAC off the field on a swinging strikeout before going to work in the bottom of the frame.
A Gonzalez double to left field set up a solid score from Nick Diaz. A few plays later, Gonzalez and Roberto Fernandez ran in a score apiece to tie up the game 7-7. This cold and rain-filled ball game had all the makings of an extra innings slugfest until the Mustangs took over in the eighth. Three FNU fielding errors allowed MAC to collect four runs on just one hit in the inning.
After the Mustangs secured an 11-7 lead, FNU’s De Arazoza got them on the board once again off a double to right field from De La Cruz. Heading into the ninth, the Conquistadors did their job at the top of the inning getting three quick outs to bring up the bottom of the ninth.
As Gonzalez looked to get himself in play, a streak of lightning lit the dreary skies of North Miami, Fla., putting in place a thirty-minute lightning delay before the Mustangs secured two quick out for the 11-8 win.
FNU led the way in hits 12 to MAC’s five. The Conquistadors had five costly errors to the Mustangs’ one error on the afternoon.
Up Next: FNU baseball host Bryant & Stratton Albany Friday at noon at Claude Pepper Park.