Richard Gibson/Staff Writers
Coming off a disappointing 4-1 loss to the Penn Quakers in their first game, FIU baseball needed an answer to their four-game losing streak. A double-header on Saturday, February 7th provided FIU an opportunity for a couple of wins on the same day. Unfortunately, they dropped the ball on the first game with a 16-1 loss but rebounded in the second game with a 2-1 win to split the double-header with Penn.
The first game started off well for Penn offensively, beginning the first inning with a 1-0 lead. They then added four more runs in the second inning. After only two innings of work, Penn was up 5-0, and FIU found themselves in a hole once more.
FIU saw some success filling the bases in the third inning, but a lack of hits cost them some easy runs. FIU’s inability to score runs early has been one of their biggest issues as of late, and it reared its head again. When Penn got the ball back in the fourth inning, they added another run with an RBI, moving to 6-0.
FIU saw very little success at-bat for the next few innings. As a matter of fact, the only hits managed by FIU before the seventh inning were from Logan Allen and two from Justin Farmer. Similarly, Penn’s offense began to stall around this time, though they were the ones with the 6-0 lead.
That changed in the seventh inning, as Penn earned one more run off an error by FIU, increasing the lead to 7-0. In the eighth inning, Penn filled the bases. After a player was hit by a pitch, one run came in, though that was all they would get in the eighth. Still, an 8-0 lead required FIU to score at least 8 runs in two innings of work.
In the eighth, Penn managed a double and five singles, scoring five more runs just for good measure, moving the lead up to 13-0. Penn then earned a three-run home run, adding insult to injury. Off a wild pitch, FIU earned one run. Despite filling the bases, FIU couldn’t put up 16 runs in one inning, and the first game ended with a 16-1 loss.
Game two had a slower start, as the first runs of the game would have to wait until the fifth inning. There were walks by both teams, and FIU’s only single leading up to the fifth was from Juan Teixiera. However, Penn’s offense broke through in the fifth inning. Off an error by FIU then an RBI double, Penn put a run on the board.
Despite all their troubles, FIU’s offense achieved their biggest outburst of the game in the sixth inning, featuring singles by Kaeber Rog and Derek Cartaya. Then, a single by Farmer brought home two runs, giving FIU their first lead of the day.
As part of the deal to add an extra game, this game was to end in the seventh inning instead of the ninth. The seventh inning was risky, but FIU pulled through on defense and split the doubleheader with a 2-1 win.
For the first game, FIU only managed six hits in 31 at-bats. In comparison, Penn put up 16 hits at 42 at-bats. FIU also committed three errors, and their batters were struck out nine times. Both Farmer and Allen got two hits.
Ironically, FIU managed only four hits in the second game, on 20 at-bats. FIU also only committed two errors, and their batters were only struck out six times. The only players that achieved hits were Cartaya, Farmer, Teixiera, and Rog.
The last game in the series between FIU and Penn will be on Sunday, February 7th at noon. After that, FIU will play a single game against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on Wednesday, March 11th at 7 p.m.