Have you ever gone to work after breaking up with someone that sometimes does business with you? That must have been what it was like for FIU Baseball coach, Mervyl Melendez to play against his former team, the Bethune Cookman Wildcats where he won 30+ games nine out of twelve seasons, and eleven conference titles from the years 2000-2011.The game started out as a pitching duel with both teams allowing only one hit through 3 innings. That’s not to say that guys weren’t making contact either. Balls were put in play, but FIU’s infield made some pretty spectacular plays, such as Kobe Lopez reacting to a ball popping up over his head, as it hit the dirt, jumping up to make the grab, and still able to make the play at first. Immediately following, FIU’s Ricardo Pozo committed an error in right field, on a pop up by Nate Sterijevski, but he was still tagged out at 3

The game started out as a pitching duel with both teams allowing only one hit through 3 innings. That’s not to say that guys weren’t making contact either. Balls were put in play, but FIU’s infield made some pretty spectacular plays, such as Kobe Lopez reacting to a ball popping up over his head, as it hit the dirt, jumping up to make the grab, and still able to make the play at first. Immediately following, FIU’s Ricardo Pozo committed an error in right field, on a pop up by Nate Sterijevski, but he was still tagged out at 3rd on a great rally by the Panthers.

Bethune Cookman starting Pitcher, Donte Lindsay

After the 3rd inning, two kids were selected for the dizzy bat race, where you spin 10 times around a bat and run to the finish line, but one of the kids totally cheated, only spinning 6 times… WTF?! What are we teaching these kids?

Anyway, in the 4th inning, FIU finally got on the scoreboard, as Kenny Meimerstorf blasted one into the left center warning track where Cookman’s Justin Heron couldn’t hold on, as he crashed into the wall. Kenny earned an RBI by bringing in Zack Soria. In the 5th, I felt like the Panthers wanted to go balls deep, literally. JC Escarra nearly homers, but just goes foul to right field. Then, it happened to Kobe Lopez in left field! What’s up with that?! After a couple of hits, Ricardo Pozo was tagged out at home, off an Irving Lopez single, leaving two on base.

FIU Panthers, swing away, baby!

The 6th inning was #LIT! Shortstop Irving Lopez made a spectacular grab behind 2nd base, stretching out to make the grab and still managed to pop up and throw out Cookman’s Nate Sterijevski at 1st. The Wildcats would, once again, end the inning scoreless. Now at the bottom of the 6th, with one out, Zack Soria came up to the plate. I literally turned to our intern, Danny and said, “this guy’s going to homer”, and that’s exactly what Soria did! I’ll chalk up my prediction to body language, as I have no idea how I got that one right. Kudos to the kid for making me look good though. Now we’re through the top of the 7th and Robert Garcia is pitching a one-hitter gem! FIU’s ace is handling these guys like it’s nobody’s business. Bottom of the 7th, FIU’s Ricardo Pozo singles, but reaches 2nd off a throwing error. Kolby Follis comes in to pinch run, and steals 3rd. Irving Lopez singles, and brings in Follis. Now it’s 3-0 going into the 8th inning.

The Wildcats weren’t going out without a fight, though. Cookman’s Michael Deeb doubles, advances to 3rd off a single, and eventually scores off a sac-fly, but Coach Melendez would stick with his guy, and let Robert Garcia close out the game. And boy did he ever… Robert Garcia threw a four-hit, one-run complete game, with fourteen strikeouts for an FIU Baseball record!

The Panthers won 3-1 off of pitching and defense. The offense was there when it needed to be, but these guys continue to prove that they know how to win, even when they aren’t “pouring it on”. I’m sure Coach Melendez feels good about this one.

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Gustavo Chacon
Most of you know me as The Prodoucher FunGus, but my government name is Gustavo A. Chacon. Born and raised in the 305! I say Miami sports fans should be grateful for what we've been able to experience, at least in my lifetime. Pretty well rounded in the major sports, but baseball is probably my weakest subject. Doesn't stop me from writing about it! Either way, I find it pointless to memorize every sports stat since the beginning of time when I can just look it up, so don't expect me to drop some knowledge unless it's useful in the real world. However, I'm not afraid to tell you why you're opinion is 100% wrong, lest we agree, of course. Wanna get into it? Argue with me @lemoncityfungus. It'll be fun!
http://www.lemoncitylive.com

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