Baseball looks to build momentum against FGCU

Senior first baseman Ryne Guida preparing to hit the ball. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Will Duval | Sports Director

The FIU baseball team is traveling to Fort Myers, Florida to take on the FGCU Eagles on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

Entering this matchup, the Panthers hold a 15-13 overall record and are coming off an 8-3 victory over the LA Tech Bulldogs on Saturday, March 30.  That matchup marked the final game of a three game series, where they left with a 2-1 record.

Vs. LA Tech

To begin the game, FIU had successful hits on their first three at-bats and scored after senior first baseman Ryne Guida hit a single. Only two at-bats later, junior infielder Alex Ulloa hit a three-run home run and gave the team an early 4-0 lead.

Despite the high scoring opening inning from the Panthers, neither team scored again until the sixth inning. During the fourth inning, senior pitcher Orlando Hernandez’s precise pitching didn’t allow the Bulldogs to make a single hit.

At the bottom of the sixth inning, two consecutive players were walked and gave FIU positioning on the bases. Redshirt junior catcher Brendan Roney hit a single on the subsequent at-bat and allowed redshirt junior outfielder Kishon Frett to score.

Able to claim a 5-0 lead by the end of the sixth inning, the Panthers were in firm control of the game and looked to continue their two-way execution. Although LA Tech eventually scored their first run of the game in the seventh inning, it wasn’t enough to chip away at the lead.

As the Panthers looked to put the game away, they immediately responded to their opponent’s score. After scoring two runs on back-to-back at-bats, senior outfielder Jeff Liquori capped off the team’s run with a home run and gave them an 8-1 lead.

Facing a seven run disadvantage, the lead proved to be too great for the Bulldogs to overcome. Despite scoring two more runs before the game’s conclusion, their effort to rally from behind was not enough to win the game. 

Through a dominant display on both offense and defense, FIU took an 8-3 victory and won two of the three games in the series. If they wish to build upon the momentum from the win, they must continue to play stout defense against FGCU.

Vs. FGCU:

Coming into this matchup, the Eagles hold a 12-14 record and went 1-2 in their recent three game series against Queens University of Charlotte. In the final game of the series on Saturday, March 30, they took a 7-5 victory and avoided a complete sweep.

After allowing their opponent to claim an early 2-0 lead, FGCU scored seven unanswered runs between the third and seventh inning. Due to their scoring run, they were able to withstand a late game surge from the Lions. 

Senior catcher Mac Moise led the way offensively and finished with two hits, two RBIs and one run. He has provided his team with consistency at the plate throughout the entire season, as he holds a .323 batting average, the second highest on the roster.

Outside of Moise, senior outfielder Ian Farrow has been the Eagles’ most consistent player at the plate. Displaying his eye for the ball, he holds a .413 batting average this season, which is the highest number on the team.

If the Panthers wish to leave this matchup victorious, their pitchers must try to limit their errors. When they are able to limit their opponent’s offense, they usually have no trouble scoring more than them.

Looking to build momentum off their previous win, the FIU baseball team is traveling to Fort Myers, Florida to take on the FGCU Eagles on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Swanson Stadium and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.

Prediction:

FIU: 6

FGCU: 4

Follow Will Duval on X: @WillDuval40

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