Cougars Drop Spring Trip Finale at
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
LAKELAND, Fla. (3-21-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University baseball team
closed out its 10-game spring trip with a
9-5 loss at Southeastern (Fla.) University
on Wednesday night at Ted Broer Stadium.
The host Fire (20-14) came out red-hot the
first two innings as they built an early 4-0
lead. Back-to-back-to-back two-out doubles
by Shane Casey, Kevin Kunnen, and Daniel
Mims plated two runs in the bottom of the
first inning, and a one-out, two-run double
by Vincent Caesar plated two runs in the
bottom of the second inning.
The Cougars (10-8) got on the scoreboard in
the top of the fourth inning when senior
first baseman Josh Roberts led off the frame
with a solo home run to leftfield - his
team-leading fourth of the year and his
second in as many games.
Then, in the top of the fifth inning, MVNU
plated three more runs to knot the score at
4-4. Sophomore outfielder Sean Fleming drove
in the first run with an RBI single and two
other runs came around to score when a
throwing error after a wild pitch allowed
Fleming to score from second and junior
shortstop Jordan Doherty, who had singled,
to score all the way from first.
Southeastern regained the lead in the bottom
of the sixth inning when Casey hit his
second double of the game down the
rightfield line to plate two runs with two
outs as the Fire moved back on top 6-4.
Then, in the bottom of the eighth inning,
Southeastern took advantage of a pair of
errors by the Cougars to score three more
runs and take a commanding 9-4 lead. Caesar
had a two-run triple in the frame, while
Casey added his third double of the contest
to drive in the other run.
MVNU made things interesting in the top of
the ninth inning as the Cougars loaded the
bases on a walk, an error, and an infield
single after the first two batters had been
retired. Sophomore third baseman Jeff Stone
lined an RBI single up the middle to pull
MVNU within 9-5 and bring the tying run to
the plate, but freshman outfielder Jake
Dickerson struck out swinging to end the
Sophomore right-hander Seth Eller started
and pitched the first three innings for the
Cougars and allowed seven hits and four runs
with one strikeout. Freshman lefty Cameron
Juhasz (1-2) worked the next four innings
and was tagged with the loss despite
striking out a career-high seven batters as
he gave up four hits, two walks, and two
runs. Senior right-hander Jeff Estep tossed
the final inning and surrendered three hits
and three runs with one strikeout.
Johnnie Kirkland started and worked six
innings for the Fire as he scattered nine
hits, two walks, and four runs with four
strikeouts. Michael Barrett (2-0) earned the
victory with one scoreless inning of relief
that included striking out two of the three
batters he faced. William Glessner also
tossed a scoreless inning with one strikeout
and one hit allowed, and Phillip Kish worked
the ninth inning and allowed two hits, one
walk, and one unearned run while striking
out two batters.
Offensively, MVNU collected 12 hits with
Dickerson leading the way by going 3-for-5.
Eller and sophomore outfielder Robert Kane
also had two hits apiece. The Cougars
stranded 10 base runners in the game.
Casey finished with four hits and three RBI
to lead Southeastern, while Caesar drove in
four runs with a pair of hits. Brandon
DeRespiris also went 3-for-4 and scored
"(Southeastern) attacked us early for four
runs in the first two innings, but we fought
back and tied it up in the fifth and were
right in the game," said MVNU coach Keith
Veale. "Cam did a nice job in the middle
innings to allow us to have a chance. I was
very encouraged with what he did on the
mound. He mixed pitches well and struck out
seven in four innings which was impressive.
Offensively, we banged out 12 hits and have
started to generate some quality at bats
toward the end of our trip."
"All in all, we have done some nice things
on our trip," Veale continued. "We haven't
quite put it all together at once or
consistently, but we have shown signs of
becoming a good ball club. We played five of
our 10 games down here against Florida
schools which is a nice challenge at this
time of year. Everything from here on out is
conference play, so we need to be ready when
we get back at it this weekend."
The Cougars will now turn their sights on
the Mid-Central College Conference race as
the remainder of their regular-season games
will be against conference opponents. MVNU
is slated to travel to Huntington (Ind.)
University on Saturday for an MCC
doubleheader that will begin at 1 p.m.