Jon Shiver pitched four scoreless innings and struck out eight — including five straight — as the Trinity Baptist College Eagles opened the 2018 season at home Friday night versus the Florida National University Conquistadors. A pitchers’ duel ensued, but some late runs for FNU gave the Conquistadors the 4-0 victory.

Shiver fanned the first five hitters he faced and six of the first seven overall. He got three more throughout the next two innings. He faced only 15 batters through his four innings of work.

Shiver also got out of a bases-loaded jam in the third without allowing a run. His final line reads 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 HP, 9 K.

Dan Richard finished the game with 3 2/3 innings in which he allowed one earned run on two hits. Richard struck out four and walked none. Grayson Wright relieved Shiver in the fifth and allowed two earned runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Jeremy Rivera was 2 for 4 at the plate while A.J. Alexio, David Quevedo, Bryan Lopez, and Kevin Rivera all had hits for the Eagles. Trinity hit the ball very hard all night, but FNU’s defense made several terrific plays, particularly right fielder Ezequiel Valdez, who chased down three Eagle drives. Third baseman Alejandro Garcia and left fielder Carlos Acevedo Santos each made spectacular catches that robbed the Eagles of potential hits and runs.

In FNU’s first-ever baseball game to start its inaugural season, first baseman Melwig Rodriguez recorded the first hit in Conquistador history.

The two teams will play twice on Saturday with Game 1 beginning at 12:00 noon. The Eagles will then travel to Miami to face the NAIA’s Florida Memorial University for a three-game series on February 2 and 3. They will return home for ten straight games beginning with a double-header with Thomas University on Tuesday, February 6.

–Raymond Bureau, TBC