Edwin Rios accounted for all of FIU’s offense as he hit a pair of two-run homers to lead the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over UALR in an elimination game on Thursday at the 2013 Sun Belt Conference tournament in Lafayette, La.
Rios hit his first homer of the day in the opening inning to give the Panthers (40-16) an early 2-0 lead. The long ball scored Zach Sweety who had reached on an infield single.
The freshman struck again in the sixth on a shot down the left-field line to break a 2-all tie and put FIU ahead 4-2.
“I was seeing the ball well and was trying to hit it hard,” Rios said. “We are just trying to win and keep moving on. This was a huge win.”
Tyler Alexander struck out 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings for the Panthers. Jason Morozowski (2-0) tossed just two-thirds of an inning and picked up the win. Chris Elander and Mitchell Davis combined for 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for FIU against the Trojans (36-20).
FIU advances to play the loser between second-seeded South Alabama and third-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette, which was rescheduled due to lighting for 12:30 p.m. Friday.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. FIU fell to Louisiana-Lafayette 9-6 late Wednesday.
• FAU 1, Troy 1, ppd.: Lighting in the area forced the Owls and Trojans to finish their game on Friday 11 a.m. with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
• Alabama 7, Mississippi 5 (10): Mikey White hit a two-run single in the 10th inning to give Alabama (34-25) a victory against Ole Miss (37-22) in Hoover, Ala.
• Vanderbilt 4, South Carolina 3 (10): Conrad Gregor singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th to give Vanderbilt (49-8) a win over South Carolina (39-18) in an elimination game.
• Arkansas 4, LSU 1: Arkansas (37-19) scored the go-ahead run on a squeeze bunt by Tyler Spoon in the eighth inning and tacked on two more insurance runs in the ninth to beat LSU (49-9).
• Virginia 8, Georgia Tech 2: Virginia (46-10) matched its season high with three home runs to hammer Georgia Tech (34-24) in Durham, N.C.
• Virginia Tech 3, Florida State 2: Mark Zagunis homered with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Virginia Tech a victory over Florida State.
The Hokies (37-19) play seventh-seeded Georgia Tech on Friday to conclude pool play. Florida State (44-15) plays third-seeded Virginia on Saturday.