Panthers Limp Toward Tail End of Season

The struggling Panthers continue to well, struggle.

After dropping their seventh consecutive game last Sunday afternoon, Cinco de Mayo’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of the sizzling Troy Trojans had FIU players shaking their heads more than their maracas.

During their season high losing streak, the Panthers (23-24, 11-13 SBC) are being outscored by their opponents 69 – 23.

Despite facing an opposition with a combined record of 89-41 during the streak, the Panthers have developed an infamous reputation for their “streaky play” regardless of the level of competition they face.

In FIU’s final chapter as a Sun Belt Conference program, last weekend’s series against the Trojans further summarized a year of woes for a rather talented roster preparing to enter the battlefield that is Conference USA.

The Panthers will try to claw their way back into the win column when they host the Jacksonville University Dolphins in a two game weekday series starting Tuesday, May 7th at 6 p.m.

FIU will then travel to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and conclude the season at home against uptown rival Florida Atlantic University. 

LOB CITY

A term most commonly used to describe the high-flying, dunk-happy Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA, Lob City, can also be applied to the FIU offensive.

The Panthers fittingly adopt the tag, not due to any Cirque du Soleil dunks, but simply by the significant amount of players they Leave On Base.

FIU, in their last series, left 22 runners stranded on base.

That is, 22 potential runs that served as important to a depleted pitching staff, as financial aid to a college student.

These runners left on base, resulted in FIU being outscored 28-9 during the span of the series.

STRUGGLING STAFF CONTINUES TO FALTER

The Trojans speared FIU junior aces Tyler Alexander (3-6) and Mike Franco (5-3) in both their respective starts, the pair, combining to give up 15 hits and 9 earned runs, in 11 innings of work.

In addition to an already dismal box score, the duo also allowed the Trojans to get on base with ease, allowing nine base on balls, while simultaneously boosting the on-base percentages of Trojan hitters.

Although the offensive input for FIU has been relatively close to its average all year long, it is the pitching, both starting and relief, which have plagued FIU.

For the most part injuries, freshmen, and lack of familiarity and routine within the pitching staff have attributed to the lack of success for Pitching Coach Drew French, and the Panthers.

FIU continues to struggle putting together a consistent bullpen, which has allowed 169 earned runs this season.