Not even the sprinklers could stop Old Dominion’s offense on Friday night against host FIU.
The Monarchs delivered a season-high 18 hits and held on to defeat the Panthers 12-11 after blowing an early 9-0 lead.
Old Dominion capitalized on a couple of FIU errors in the top of the eighth. After Kyle Beam drew a leadoff walk, pinch runner Bryce Windham took second when first baseman Zach Files dropped a pickoff throw, advanced to third when pitcher Dominic LoBrutto sailed a pickoff throw over second base and scored the go-ahead run on Nick Walker’s single past a drawn-in infield.
The Panthers trailed Old Dominion 9-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth but plated seven in the fourth and four more in the fifth to take an 11-9 lead.
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In FIU’s fourth-inning rally, eight consecutive Panthers reached base, including five in a row immediately after the infield sprinklers came on. As second baseman Rey Perez stepped to the plate, the sprinklers began spraying the infield dirt, and after they turned off the floodgates opened for the Panthers offense. FIU scored seven in the bottom of the fourth, with the key hit a two-run double off the left-field wall by Oliver Francis. In the fifth, the Panthers scored four more runs to take the lead, with Eddie Silva delivering the go-ahead, two-run double down the third-base line.
But FIU could not hold the lead, as the Monarchs scored two runs in the seventh to tie the game at 11, setting the stage for Walker’s go-ahead single.
The Monarchs and Panthers play the second game of their series at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night.
▪ Nova Southeastern 6, Palm Beach Atlantic 4: Visiting Nova Southeastern (23-11, 11-4 Sunshine State Conference) came out on top against Palm Beach Atlantic (17-19). Ronald Patella earned the victory. The Sharks have won 10 games in a row.
▪ Florida Tech 2, Barry 0: Visiting Barry (18-16, 2-8 SSC) suffered a defeat to league foe Florida Tech (21-14, 5-8).
▪ Embry-Riddle 9, Barry 1: Host Barry (17-14) lost in five innings to Embry-Riddle (28-9) in the first meeting between the teams.
▪ Palm Beach Atlantic 9, Nova Southeastern 0: Host Nova Southeastern (11-29, 1-17 SSC) lost to provisional conference opponent Palm Beach Atlantic (26-15).