FNU upsets No. 7 seed in SCWS opener

FNU baseball player Yordangel Gonzalez.
Conquistadors upset No. 7 seed in SCWS opener. (May 13, 2024)

(Box Score

DUBOIS, Pa. (May 13, 2024) – Florida National University’s baseball team (22-28) picked up a timely win, snapping a seven-game losing streak in game one of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s (USCAA) Small College World Series. The No. 10 seeded Conquistadors posted a five-inning 11-0 stunner versus the No. 7 seeded Penn State Schuylkill Lions (31-15). 

Schuylkill was held to five hits and committed two errors in the loss, while FNU recorded no errors and connected on 12 hits. 

Both teams were in a scoreless draw after the first two innings. FNU’s Jeremy De La Cruz and Erick Rodriguez had the first two Conquistador hits in the game on singles in the heart of the Lions infield defense. FNU got its first lead of the game on a two-RBI home run from USCAA First Team All-American Jordan Lewis. The outfielder blasted the homer in the third inning before Yordangel Gonzalez’s double down the left field line bought enough time for Matthew Gonzalez to reach home plate in the fourth.

The Conquistadors kept it rolling in the fourth frame, scoring three more runs on an RBI double from Jason Altuve and another two-score home run from Lewis. 

FNU’s next five runs came courtesy of an unfortunate collapse from the Lions. Gonzalez and Altuve scored in the fifth off costly RBI walks delivered by Schuylkill’s pitcher Ethan Naftzinger. Things went from bad to worse for Naftzinger in the fifth, as the freshman committed a fielding error that scored Gonzalez and ran in Altuve after hitting De La Cruz with a costly pitch with the bases loaded.

Owen Zimmerman took over for Naftzinger on the mound and conceded the final score of the game on a balk, running in Lewis. 

Up Next: The Conquistadors look to keep it rolling in a battle versus UC Clermont today at 4 p.m.

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