FIU loses to Tennessee in extras

Eduardo Almaguer/Staff Writer

The Panthers will travel out of Knoxville, Tenn., the same way they came in: on a losing streak.FIU (8-11) dropped its one-game match against the University of Tennessee (12-8) on March 21, extending the Panthers’ losing streak to five, the longest of the season.

It was the second time FIU played an extra-inning game this season, eventually losing 4-3 on a walk-off fielder’s choice in the 11th inning.

Right-hander Eddy Pidermann pitched a solid game, lasting five and a third innings and surrendering six hits, two earned runs, two walks and striking out four Volunteers.

The Panthers could only scratch out six hits against the Vols pitching, with freshman Julius Gaines having a third of them.

In the first inning, senior Pablo Bermudez led the game with a walk and Martinez drove him in with a home run to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead on the night.

Action was scarce for the next few innings until the Vols got on the board in the sixth inning. UT’s Jared Allen lined an RBI triple and later scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.

Right-hander Alberto Cardenas entered the game and though he did not allow a hit, he walked two batters and threw only five strikes in 17 pitches in the seventh inning.

He loaded the bases and let the Vols take a 3-2 lead on a sacrifice fly.

In the eighth inning, junior T.J Shantz hit a single to get on base which eventually brought freshman Aramis Garcia to the plate. Garcia, who has been on locked in at the plate over the past two weeks, scorched a double to score Shantz and tie the game.

FIU pitchers Michael Gomez and John Costa combined for four scoreless innings, striking out five with no walks to extend the game into extra innings.

After a leadoff single in the 11th inning, the Vols moved the runner up and eventually had him score on a ground ball to the right side of the infield.

Shantz fired home but his throw was off line, never giving Garcia, the catcher, a chance to tag the runner.

The Panthers head to Bowling Green, Ky., to open their second conference series of the season. They will face the WKU Hill Toppers.

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