LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. (March 27, 2021) – Coming off a crazy series opener of Friday night, the Florida National baseball team came into Saturday’s doubleheader looking not only win the series but sweep the Edward Waters Tigers.
Both happened on Saturday as FNU downed EWC, 18-5 in Game One of the doubleheader, followed by a 14-13 walk-off victory to close out the double dip.
The first goal – winning the series – saw FNU pound the Tigers in Game Two of the series, scoring 18 runs on 18 hits in just seven innings of action. Beginning with a five-run bottom of the first the Conquistadors never trailed and held EWC at bay, allowing the team from Jacksonville to get within two runs in the top of the second before rattling off 13 unanswered.
A 10-run bottom of the fifth put the game out of reach as FNU won, 18-5.
Five Conquistadors had multiple-hit games including Jasiel Perez, who was a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate with three doubles and four runs scored. Ezequiel Valdez Florentino had a three-hit day, scoring three runs and drove in two with a two-run blast in the bottom of the fifth. Carlos Cartaya recorded a four RBI in the game, hitting 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles versus the Tigers pitching staff with three runs scored. Daniel Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored while Edgar Perez drove in a team-best six runs going 2-for-4 from the dish, including a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth.
Brandon Torres (1-4) earned his first win of the season allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits in six and one-third innings of action.
With the series in hand, FNU’s next goal was to complete the series sweep. Edward Waters did not make that easy, opening the third game of series, scoring nine runs in the top of the first. FNU responded with two runs in its half of the first following a two-run home run to left center by Manuel Blanco but the Tigers tacked on four more runs in the top of the second to make it 13-2.
The Conquistadors never quit and continued to chip away at the EWC lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of third, to more in the bottom of the fifth and four in the bottom of the sixth. Trailing 13-10 heading into the bottom of the seventh, FNU loaded the bases with one out. Jan Carlos Rodriguez drew a walk to cut the Tigers lead to 13-11. Perez, who notched six RBI for the second-straight game, drove in the Conquistador’s 12th run on a fielder’s choice. Pinch hitter Jeremy De La Cruz Chan entered the game with runners on the corners with two outs. Relief pitcher Will Valenti threw a wild pitch with De La Cruz Chan in the batter’s box, allowing pinch runner Yazir Braafhart, who was on third, to score the game tying run while Perez advanced to third (from first base). Following the wild pitch, De La Cruz Chan sent a single through the left side of the infield to drive in the winning run in walk-off style.
The walk-off victory was the second of the series for the Conquistadors, who scored 48 runs in the series.
Blanco, who got the Conquistador scoring started in the bottom of the first, went 3-for-4 in the game with three runs scored and two runs batted in. Perez, who scored the game-winning run had a 3-for-5 outing with six RBI and three runs scored.
Marcus Villar (1-0) picked up the win, giving up no runs while scattering five hits in four innings of relief.