Miami, FL – After dropping their season opener, the FIU Panthers experienced a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to the Stony Brook Seawolves Saturday Night. With only one strike left, a three-run shot in the ninth dashed FIU’s hopes of claiming their first win of the season. Nick MacDonald toed the rubber facing off against fellow righty Brian Herrmann in game two of the three-game set at FIU Baseball Stadium.

Stony Brook got on the board with lead-off man Nick Grande sending one just over the wall in left, on MacDonald’s second pitch of the game. It was the sixth home run of the series, all but one were by the Seawolves. FIU had a chance to respond in their half of the first with two outs and Derek Cartaya on third but catcher Jose Garcia popped out to centerfield. They’d find another opportunity the following inning.

Seth Cannady got things started by beating the throw to first. Juan Teixeira pounced with a liner down third base for a double, scoring Cannady to equalize. Teixeira kept things interesting by swiping third although he never crossed the plate as freshman John Rodriguez struck out to end the effort.

Defensive miscues plagued the Panthers in the third inning with two dropped balls. A catchable pop fly in foul territory near first base began the latest push by Stony Brook to regain the lead. A bloop to shallow center drew as many as three players (John Rodriguez, Jarrett Ford, and Lorenzo Hampton Jr.) without a single one making the grab. Shortly after, a pickoff attempt by MacDonald at second prove erroneous, moving the runner over to third with no outs. Mac struck out first baseman Chris Hamilton but the Seawolves notched a 2-1 lead following the groundout to second.

Stony Brook nearly extended their lead as Brandon Alamo smashed one to deep left only to be denied by Hampton Jr. at the wall. The Outfield Corps was challenged again, this time from Sean Buckhout who drove one deep up the middle. He watched helplessly as Ford made a terrific running catch, brushing up against the wall. Somebody call ESPN, that’s Top 10 material!

The fourth proved to be an effective one for the blue and gold, taking the lead for the first time with three runs on four hits. Hampton Jr. and Cannady hit back to back singles to start the inning. Then with two outs, Texiera singled to left to make it 2-2. Rodriguez got beaned afterward to load the bases for the leadoff man, Jarret Ford. With the bases juiced, Ford came through with a clutch hit down the third base line, a 2 RBI double.

The Seawolves got a run back after two straight hits to help load up the bases, ending Nick MacDonald’s night but not before striking out a batter for the second out to set up reliever Christian Dearman. The Panthers returned the favor in their half of the fifth, knocking out Stony Brook’s starter Brian Herrmann after Cannady tripled to double the score, 6-3. Brandon Bonanno was brought in the end the inning.

Unfortunately for FIU, it wasn’t enough.

With runners on second and third, Will Saxton was unable to seal the deal with two outs and two strikes, giving up a three-run bomb to Michael Wilson. FIU will try to redeem themselves Sunday at noon against Stony Brook. The team will then play host to Bethune-Cookman Tuesday night at 7:00 PM before heading out to Port Charlotte to face South Dakota State in a two-game series.

Game Notes

FIU finished the game scoring six runs on 12 hits and three errors.

Stony Brook finished with seven runs on 11 hits and one error.

Nick MacDonald ended the night with 4.2 IP, giving up three runs (one unearned) on seven hits. He struck out six batters.

Jarret Ford went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a double.

Juan Teixeira went 2-for-4 with a run, two RBIs and a double.

Stony Brook improves to 2-0 while FIU falls to 0-2.

Stat of the Game: FIU left 11 men on base during tonight’s game. As an honorable mention, there have been a grand total of 33 combined runs scored so far in the series. And we still got one more game left.

Gus Bus Award

Seth Cannady grabs the first Gus Bus Award, going 4-for-5 with two runs, two RBIs and a triple. Awesome work!

You’re Killing Me Smalls

Definitely giving it to Will Saxton, he was only one strike away. So close.

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Gabriel Garcia
Just an avid sports fan who happens to have a love-hate (mostly love) relationship with his local teams be it collegiate or professional and also happens to be a news junkie. Mix in outstanding optimism with cold realism and you've got yourself a balanced cocktail perfect for champions.

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