Can baseball snap losing streak against Miami?

Senior outfielder Jeff Liquori tossing the ball to his teammate. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Will Duval | Sports Director

The FIU baseball team is playing their final home game of the regular season against the Miami Hurricanes on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Miami, Florida.

Entering this matchup, the Panthers hold a 25-25 overall record and are coming off a 10-6 loss to the Sam Houston Bearkats on Sunday, May 12. That game marked both the final game of a three game series and the team’s third loss in a row.

Vs. SHSU:

After dropping the first two games of the series, FIU displayed a renewed intensity for their third game. Although they allowed the Bearkats to score during the first inning, the team responded immediately in the second.

Senior infielder Chase Englehard made a hit towards center field that resulted in both a single and the team’s first hit of the game. On the subsequent at-bat, redshirt junior outfielder Kishon Frett rifled his hit towards left field which ended in a two-run home run.

Able to secure a 2-1 lead by the bottom of the second inning, the Panthers needed to continue their two-way execution in order to hold onto their advantage. 

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the fourth inning, where FIU was able to take advantage of their base positioning. To begin their offensive possession, senior outfielder Jeff Liquori made a hit that resulted in a single.

Two at-bat’s later, redshirt junior catcher Brendan Roney followed it up with a single of his own and allowed Liquori to reach third base. Immediately after, Roney got caught in an attempt to steal second base, but it allowed Liquori to reach home plate and score.

Going into the fifth inning, the Panthers held a 3-1 lead and seemed to have seized the game’s momentum in their favor. However, the fifth inning marked the beginning of a scoring run in which the Bearkats would outscore them.

To begin SHSU’s time on offense, senior infielder Easton Loyd hit a double on the team’s first at-bat of the inning. Only three at-bats later, he was able to score and cut the lead to 3-2 due to a wild pitch.

Through a pitching error from FIU, the Bearkats were able to inject energy into their offense and tilt the game’s momentum in their favor. 

Following a scoreless fifth inning from the Panthers, SHSU singled on their first three at-bats of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Loyd made a hit towards center field which resulted in a two-RBI single.

Claiming a 4-3 lead, the Bearkats weren’t done with their scoring for the inning.

By the end of their offensive possession, they were able to establish a 7-3 advantage, which was capped off with a two-run home run from junior catcher Walter Janek.

Falling into a four run deficit, FIU was unable to rally from behind for the remainder of the game. Although they were able to score the same amount of runs as their opponent over the final three innings, it wasn’t enough to overcome their disadvantage.

Despite their offensive efforts, the Panthers took a 10-6 loss and were swept in their three game series against SHSU.

Liquori led the team with two hits and runs in a total of four at-bats. Beyond his production, Frett finished with a team high two RBIs and also had one hit.

Looking to snap their losing streak, FIU is playing their final home game of the regular season in their next matchup against Miami.

Vs. Miami:

Coming into this matchup, the Hurricanes hold a 23-27 overall record and took a 13-4 loss to Virginia Tech in their previous game on May 12. Despite the nine run loss, they still won the three game series, as they left with a 2-1 record.

Senior outfielder Jacoby Long finished with a team high two runs and an RBI. Beyond his performance, senior outfielder Lucas Costello had a statistically perfect game, as he finished with three hits in three at-bats.

If the Panthers wish to leave this matchup victorious, they can’t repeat the pitching errors from their previous game.

Junior pitcher Jaydon Bishop allowed five runs and hits over eight total at-bats. While his pitching wasn’t the sole reason FIU lost the game, allowing such a high number of runs definitely contributed to their deficit.

Offensively, the Panthers should look to continue their gameplan. Throughout the entire season, they have shown a capability to score in high volumes, but they allow far too many runs to opposing teams to keep up with.

When a team can score six runs in a game and still lose, offense clearly isn’t their problem. 

Playing in their final home game of the regular season, the FIU baseball team is taking on the Miami Hurricanes on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Miami, Florida.

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

Follow Will Duval on X: @WillDuval40

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