Battle for the 305: Streak ends for Hurricanes as FIU drops Miami

Battle Hurricanes FIU Miami

Miami, Florida – In the latest edition of the Battle for the 305 at Miami, the FIU Panthers won against the Miami Hurricanes for the first time since 2018. The 9-7 defeat is the latest low point in what’s been a disappointing 2024 for the Cardiac Canes. Ashton Crowther got the start in a bullpen game giving up four earned runs on five hits lasting only until the second frame. Despite their opponents walking a combined 11 hitters, the offense managed three hits by the eighth inning. JD Urso was the only player who achieved a multi-hit performance.

Florida International jumped into an early lead holding the advantage until the fifth before regaining the edge for good in the seventh. Collectively, the hitting was 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position although five of their runs came on two outs. Miami is now 21-26 overall with a 5-6 midweek record. UM still leads the season series 2-1 with their final meeting on the road on May 14th. They travel to Blacksburg facing Virginia Tech this weekend.

13th time’s the charm

Crowther labored early surrendering three runs in the first. FIU led off with a hit, a walk, and then an RBI double from Ryne Guida. Armando Becerra scored on a sac fly, followed by an RBI single from Chase Engelhard. The Panthers kept up the batting practice via a flex from Brendan Roney, his third home run of the year.

Miami got on the board thanks to a defensive miscue by the crosstown rivals. With one gone in the third, Engelhard couldn’t turn the double play resulting in a throwing error, plating Carlos Perez. Owen Puk struggled and was pulled after walking four batters. Dorian Gonzalez Jr. went into clutch mode notching two more runs with a two-bagger to left field.

Things got hairy for Miami in the fourth. After retiring the first two hitters, Slaide Naturman proceeded to bean Andre Martinez and Brylan West. The Hurricanes recorded the third straight HBP when Chris Scinta took over on the mound. Guida worked a bases-loaded walk making it 5-3 Panthers.

Urso nearly tied it with a long dart to center. Perez scored on the RBI double. The ball hit the top of the wall, however, upon further review the call stood. Miami eventually tied the game in the fifth on the Lucas Costello ground-out. Costello smacked it up the middle but Engelhard gloved it for the impressive throw to first as Villegas scored on the play.

Momentum swung back in FIU’s favor courtesy of Jeff Liquori hammering a three-run no-doubter toward right field before the seventh-inning stretch. The Panthers added an insurance run with the Brendan Roney sac fly. Jack Scanlon hit a two-run single in the ninth keeping the team alive, however, it was not enough.

Impressions

The last time the Panthers won Jim Morris was in his final year at Coral Gables. A lot has changed since their previous meeting. Miami’s descent began while they were neck-deep in the toughest part of their schedule. Once they emerged from the gauntlet of consecutive weekends versus ranked opponents, any remote hope of returning to the regionals was gone. Throw in the injuries to Blake Cyr and Jason Torres on top of the well-known issues with the bullpen and it all adds up to a disappointing first year in the J.D. Arteaga era.

In the grand scheme of things, the non-conference rivalry game has little bearing outside of bragging rights. The Hurricanes will try to bounce back this weekend against Virginia Tech, a series that has a direct impact on their chances of reaching the ACC tournament. Miami looks to secure one of the last spots for a trip to Charlotte.

Gus Bus Award

It’s been a while since I did this but I’m handing the award to a player from the opposing team. The center fielder was playing tremendous defense tonight robbing the Canes of hits AND runs.

You’re Killing Me Smalls

Hard to point at one specific player but given how bad the offense was I’ll point to Jacoby Long who went hitless in five at-bats. Yikes.

(Visited 85 times, 1 visits today)