Timely hits have been hard to come by for the FIU baseball team so far this season. But that wasn’t the case Saturday afternoon, especially for catcher Aramis Garcia.
Garcia played a major role propelling the Panthers (19-15, 7-7 Sun Belt) to a much-needed 9-4 win against Louisiana-Monroe (14-21, 4-10) at FIU Baseball Stadium to even the series heading into Sunday’s finale.
“It was definitely a good win,” said Garcia, who finished the game with a solo home run, a double and two RBI. “Things are pretty tight in the conference right now so this win was a big one.”
The Panthers were efficient at the plate, taking advantage of ULM’s struggles on the mound and on the field. Of the five times an FIU batter reached base on a walk, three of them led to runs and FIU scored a run on each of ULM’s two errors.
FIU starter Ty Sullivan got off to a rough start on the mound, walking two batters before surrendering an RBI double down the left-field line that put the Warhawks ahead early in the game.
An error by FIU shortstop Edwin Rios led to another Warhawks run, but he redeemed himself in the bottom half of the inning with a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run game.
The Panthers put up a five spot in the second inning to chase ULM starter Shelby Aulds, scoring runs on a double by Garcia, a single by Zach Sweety, back-to-back errors by shortstop Kodie Tidwell and a sac fly by Rios.
The FIU bullpen got to work early and effectively shut down the Warhawks’ lineup with relievers Alex Seibold and Alberto Cardenas combining for 5 2/3 innings pitched, allowing just one run and three hits. Seibold (2-1) picked up the win, and Cardenas earned his second save of the season.
“We had a certain game plan for what we wanted to do pitching-wise, and we were lucky enough that it came to fruition [Saturday],” FIU coach Turtle Thomas said.
• Miami 5, Maryland 3: Freshman David Thompson hit his third home run of the year and drove in a career-high three RBI, leading the Hurricanes to a series-clinching victory against the host Terrapins.
After delivering a 13th-inning double and scoring the game-winning run in Friday’s series opener, Thompson continued his tear on Maryland pitching.