Florida Memorial opened the Sun Conference Tournament with a 2-1 victory over No. 15 Keiser University at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Lions (25-19) will face Webber University Saturday in second round of tournament action.
Friday’s game was a pitching duel between the Lions Christian Rivera (6-2) and Keiser’s Alex Lamrouex (9-4). Lamrouex previously defeated Florida Memorial this past April 7th in Miami Gardens by the score of 3-0. Rivera held the Seahawks to four hits in the game and the single run. Lamrouex went 8 innings in taking the loss allowing the two runs, walking one, and striking out eight.
Keiser’s only run came in the top of the first inning when Marco Rivera tripled down the right field line, then scored on a wild pitch to give Keiser a 1-0 lead which did not last long. Florida Memorial answered back in the bottom half.
Raymond Guerrero and Jose Chavez singled, Chris Clara batted ball to Keisers shortstop Jonathan Fernandez was misplayed into a run scoring error, tying the game up at one apiece. With runners at the corners, Alex Gomez’s RBI single up the middle plated pitch runner DJ Brown for the 2-1 lead which were the only runs Florida Memorial needed.
Rivera pitched a gem mixing his pitches, which kept the No. 15 ranked team in the NAIA off-balance and limited the Seahawks offensively with four hits. The sophomore, in 9 innings, only allowed four hits, one unearned run, while striking out four.
Florida Memorial came into the game with only one member of the Lions receiving conference awards when the league announced its annual selection before the start of the tournament. Axel Gomez was named Freshman of the Year, posting a .352 batting average during the season. No other FMU players were selected for any of the conference honor.
Sergio Chil ranks 22nd in the NAIA with a .419 batting average, 37 runs batted in. On the mound, Rivera 6-2 overall, was 5-2 in conference play with a 3.05 earned run average, 76.2 innings pitched and has struck-out 83 batters.
After the game. Back College Nines caught up with Florida Memorial head coach Florentino Burgos. Listen to the interview.