FIU’s the largest university in Miami, but don’t arrive to FIU games on Miami time. The scoring starts early.
For the seventh time in seven games, FIU scored in the first inning, three runs this time. And for the seventh time in seven games, FIU won, 10-0, over Stony Brook.
This is the seventh 7-0 FIU team, the first since the 2010 Sun Belt Conference tournament champions. The Panthers haven’t been 8-0 since the team that made the 2000 NCAA tournament.
Sophomore shortstop Edwin Rios went four of five from the field with four singles with three RBI. Junior shortstop Julius Gaines and junior catcher Aramis Garcia each went two for four. Righthander Mike Ellis (2-0) worked five and a third innings, gave up three hits and struck out seven in getting the win.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. FIU will send freshman Cody Crouse to the mound. Junior pitcher Robby Kalaf’s right hand still hasn’t recovered from the line drive that took Kalaf out of his Feb. 15 game against Rutgers.
Stony Brook sent Brandon McNitt out to the lions, er, Panthers and he gave up nine hits and four runs (all earned) in 25 batters.
In the first inning, a ground out by junior third baseman Josh Anderson scored Garcia. Singles by Rios and junior LK Thompson built the Panthers lead to 3-0. After Ellis struck out the side in the third, Garcia singled, then stole second on a pitch in the dirt. Anderson brought Garcia home again, this time with a single to center field.
All that was more than enough for the Panthers, although they added six runs in the seventh, three coming on Antonio Rodriguez’s double down the right field line.