FIU Baseball Opening Weekend

Miami, FL – In a game of rain delays, blisters, and a broken-bat, FIU Panthers Baseball shutout the Fordham Rams 8-0 Saturday night in a rain-shortened contest, putting them in prime position for the sweep opening weekend. It was a bittersweet evening for Panthers starter Tyler Myrick who after missing 632 days, endured a two-hour rain delay only to leave in the fourth inning due to injury. 

The early game was characterized by few hits with great defensive stops from FIU’s infield. At the top of the second, Derek Cartaya made a diving catch, flipping it to shortstop Robert Sotolongo for the classic 4-6-3 double play to bring the team to the plate. Game two was drastically different from the opener.

Last night FIU displayed an incredible 20-run performance, crushing Fordham to win the first game of the 2020 season. Panthers ace Logan Allen dazzled from the mound as roughly 100 scouts looked on, striking out 11 hitters in five innings of work. He surrendered only two runs in the 20-7 rout. The blue and gold did the majority of the damage in the first four innings, being up by as much as 14-2. 

The third frame was a strange one. Fordham’s Nico Doria somehow broke his bat at the handle. Either the aluminum was rusted or Myrick was throwing that hard. Shortly after, the game was briefly delayed due to a guy hanging his head over the centerfield fence. 

Blisters and Bullpens

Unfortunately, Myrick’s night was cut short due to a blister on his hand. After walking the first baseman, Nick Labella, to load the bases, coach Mervyl Melendez went over to examine the righty, pulling him in a call to the bullpen. Myrick would get the no-decision.

Steven Casey took over in relief, causing Doria to hit a grounder to third baseman, Ben Rozenblum, who tapped the bag for the force out. In the home half of the fourth, FIU broke through after a single from Juan Teixeira with runners in scoring position. Leftfielder, Jake Baker, bobbled the ball in the play, allowing both Justin Farmer and Jose Garcia to cross the plate.

The Rams threatened again the following inning, loading the bases once more due to an error, a wild pitch and two walks. Casey didn’t yield, retiring Jason Coules via groundout to get out of another jam.

Not settling for the slim lead, the Panthers added more insurance runs in the fifth and sixth. Garcia flashed some clutch hitting, singling to the left side and advancing to second on the throw, scoring Jarrett Ford. The following inning saw Rozenblum cross the plate on a wild pitch from Gabe Karslo to make it 4-0 FIU. 

Florida International exploded for four more in the seventh. Cartaya doubled down the leftfield line to get things started. From there singles from Garcia and Rozenblum (Farmer walked in between) scored one run apiece. The Rams went deeper into their pen but it wouldn’t stop the surge. A sac fly from Teixeira brought Farmer home and again Rozenblum scored on a wild pitch. Mother natured handled the rest.

The Panthers will look to finish off the Rams tomorrow afternoon at FIU Baseball Stadium.

Gus Bus Award

Jose Garcia again went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs, continuing a great FIU Baseball Opening Weekend. He’s now 6-for-8 with two doubles, five runs and 4 RBIs in the series.

You’re Killing Me Smalls

Luis Chavez went hitless tonight, whiffing three times. Still looking for the first one of the season.

Game Notes

FIU has now outscored Fordham 28-7 with one game remaining in the series.

The Panthers scored 8 runs on 11 hits committing 2 errors.

The Rams scored no runs, making 5 hits and 2 errors.

Tyler Myrick: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K’s 

Steven Casey: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K’s

Photo Credit | Al Palacio

 

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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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