FIU Baseball Drops First Loss In Extra Innings Vs Pepperdine

Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Richard Gibson/Staff Writer

Heading into the game with a perfect 7-0 record, the Panthers had to face their toughest opponent yet, the Pepperdine Waves.

The Waves tried to outwit FIU early, though both teams duked it out with their pitching. Eventually, Pepperdine broke through, but FIU would remain resilient, forcing the game to extra innings. FIU tried to steal the game, but Pepperdine had enough firepower to win a 9-8 heartbreaker.

The first inning saw pitcher Logan Allen silence the Waves’ offense early, with a quick 1-2-3 series. FIU copied Pepperdine with a quick 1-2-3 series of their own. 

Pepperdine’s second inning was a repeat of the first, with three straight outs at-bat. For FIU, they managed two hits by Justin Farmer and Ben Rozenblum, but couldn’t convert them into runs, ending the second with no runs.

The third inning finally saw some action for Pepperdine with a walk, then a single. A home run to right field opened the game up, and the Waves maintained a 3-0 lead. It was now FIU’s turn to answer, but all they managed were three straight outs.

Allen now needed to ensure that Pepperdine would get no more runs, and the fourth inning was what FIU needed. Another 1-2-3 series would put FIU at the plate, but three straight outs would mean the 3-0 lead for Pepperdine would continue.

If there was any doubt this game was all about pitching, the fifth inning proved that to be true. The Waves managed a walk, but nothing else. FIU’s offensive struggles continued, earning no hits in the fifth.

The sixth inning was more of the same, with Pepperdine earning no hits. For FIU, Jarrett Ford walked, then Derek Cartaya singled. Unfortunately, FIU couldn’t convert them into runs, and the lead for Pepperdine remained 3-0.

Allen silenced the Waves in the seventh, allowing no hits once more. FIU finally had their answer to Pepperdine at-bat. After a double by Farmer, Rozenblum doubled as well, bringing in Farmer. Luis Chavez got a double of his own, bringing in Rozenblum. Roberto Sotolongo singled, bringing in Chavez, tying up the game at 3-3.

The last thing FIU needed was for Pepperdine to score, but that’s just what they did in the eighth inning. Pepperdine started off with a pair of singles, then a fielder’s choice turned wild pitch, bringing in a run. After that, another home run by the Waves brought in three more runs, and Pepperdine now led 7-3. FIU could only get a single by Cartaya in the eighth.

The ninth inning was brief for Pepperdine, with three straight. FIU began with two singles by Rozenblum and Sotolongo. An RBI by Ford brought home Rozenblum. Two straight walks by Cartaya and Sanchez added another run. Jose Garcia then doubled, bringing in two runners and tying up the game at 7-7, heading to extra innings. 

Pepperdine couldn’t get anything going in the 10th inning, with three straight outs. Humberto Torres singled for FIU, but FIU couldn’t create runs, ending the tenth. 

The 11th inning felt like a repeat of the 10th inning, with three straight outs for Pepperdine. A walk by Sotolongo and a single by Cartaya gave FIU a chance, but they couldn’t convert them into runs.

Pepperdine would single in the 12th inning, following it up with a home run, giving them a 9-7 lead. FIU, needing to score two runs to stay alive, gave it their all. Farmer and Rozenblum both singled. Another single by Juan Teixiera would bring in Farmer. Unfortunately, FIU couldn’t gain another run, and would fall by a score of 9-8.

Despite the loss, FIU earned 16 hits from 49 at-bats. They also only committed one error and earned eight RBIs and four walks. Rozenblum led FIU in hits with four. Allen recorded three strikeouts, increasing his career strikeout total to 235, becoming seventh on FIU’s all-time strikeout list.

FIU’s record is now 7-1, but they’re still tied for first place in Conference USA with Old Dominion. FIU will continue the series with Pepperdine on Saturday, February 29th and Sunday, March 1st. FIU will then begin a three-game series against the Penn Quakers, beginning on Friday, March 6th. 

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