UC Clermont holds on for 8-6 victory over FNU

FNU baseball player Erick Rodriguez.
UC Clermont holds on for 8-6 victory over FNU. (May 13, 2024)

(Box Score

DUBOIS, Pa. (May 13, 2024) – Florida National University’s baseball team (22-29) saw a five-run lead evaporate, as No. 2 seeded University of Cincinnati Clermont College Cougars (34-12) escaped with an 8-6 win at the USCAA Small College World Series. FNU entered its second game of the afternoon following an 11-0 victory over the No. 7 seed Penn State Schuylkill Lions to kick off the ten-team tournament. 

The Cougars posted five hits in the contest and FNU recorded 14. The Conquistadors recorded the only error of the contest, committed by pitcher Aliozmany Alonso.

FNU’s Jordan Lewis got FNU on the board first thanks to his third home run of the tournament. The USCAA All-American sent a pitch out of the park towards center field for the 1-0 FNU lead in the first. The Conquistadors continued to build on this offensive explosion, taking a 5-0 lead in the second inning.

Roberto Fernandez and Adrian Roman both connected on RBI singles in the frame and Lewis went to work for a two-RBI single through the left side of the field. The Cougars’ late push, however, began in the fourth after a three-RBI double from Dylan Leytze. With the game standing at 5-3, FNU’s Gino Bellantoni notched a triple of his own that scored Lewis for a much-needed security run. 

Bellantoni’s effort did not stop a calamitous sixth inning for the Conquistadors. Alonso’s error in the sixth allowed UCC’s Grant Gillespie to make it a 6-4 affair. An unfortunate RBI hit by pitch and an RBI groundout fell into the Cougars’ lap at the best possible time. Jack Deeds answered the call when Clermont needed it most, air mailing a two-RBI double to give his game an 8-6 lead before FNU retired the side.

FNU did make an impressive push in the seventh, recording three straight base hits from Fernandez, Yordangel Gonzalez and Jason Altuve. UCC played it smart, tagging Fernandez at home plate on a fielder’s choice that Lewis on first. They went on to pick up two outs on Roman and Bellantoni with the bases loaded to close out the win.  

Up Next: The Conquistadors will take on the winner of Penn State Schuylkill versus Mid-Atlantic Christian tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) logo.