FIU’s baseball team earned some positive attention last week by beating its rivals, the Miami Hurricanes, in two consecutive games — an 11-run rout and a walk-off win.
The Panthers won nine of 10 games to improve to 11-7 entering their Conference USA opener this weekend against visiting Charlotte.
Two other FIU programs are enjoying a highly successful spring — the softball team and women’s tennis team.
The softball team enters Saturday with a nine-game win streak and a 23-6 record. Freshman Shannon Saile, the league’s reigning Pitcher of the Week, is 5-0 with a 0.94 ERA during the streak.
In tennis, FIU is 13-1 and ranked 24th in the nation. The Panthers’ only loss came at No. 1 Florida. FIU’s top singles player, Andrea Lazaro, a 5-7 sophomore from Spain, is ranked 28th nationally and is 27-2 in her FIU career.
This is the first time in recent memory in which FIU’s tennis team is ranked ahead of Miami, which sunk as low as No. 44 this year but is now back up to No. 29 while navigating through a difficult schedule.
▪ UM has sent four divers to the NCAA championships. Two women — freshman Marcela Maric and junior Wally Layland — will compete this weekend. Two men — redshirt freshman David Dinsmore and junior Briadam Herrera — will compete March 22-25.
▪ Nova Southeastern’s baseball team, ranked seven in the nation in NCAA Division II, plays host to No. 3 Tampa this weekend. Tampa (16-4) won the national title in 2015. NSU (15-6) won the 2016 national championship.
▪ The NSU men’s swimming team finished third in the nation and had three national championship individual performances. Franco Lupoli won the 1,000 meters. Anton Lobanov won the 100 and 200 breaststroke events for the third consecutive year. In women’s swimming, NSU finished fourth and had one gold medalist, Emma Wahlstrom (200 free).
▪ Barry, ranked 19th in the nation, lost last weekend in the second round of the NCAA Division II men’s basketball tournament. One year after making it to the Elite Eight, the Bucs (23-7) came up short of that kind of run. Next season, Barry will be without forward Adrian Gonzalez, who is the fourth-leading scorer in program history and is No. 2 in field-goal percentage (.590), and guard Arie Williams, second in career three-pointers.
▪ The St. Thomas baseball team is off to a 21-8 start and a No. 3 national ranking in NAIA. Bobcats coach Jorge Perez said this is the best pitching staff he has ever had, led by junior Ernie Valdes (6-0, 1.31 ERA) and senior Kenny Roder (4-1, 1.80). Valdes leads the NAIA in wins and has 54 strikeouts in 34 innings.
▪ St. Thomas has added men’s and women’s track programs, starting with spring 2018. STU cross-country coach Carlos Maymi will head the program.
▪ ASA Miami has hired DeMarcus Van Dyke, 28, as a defensive backs coach. Van Dyke played that position for the Miami Hurricanes and was a third-round pick of the Oakland Raiders, playing 25 games in the NFL, including four starts.