FIU did it again, and so did the University of Miami.
Panther Nick Day’s two-base sacrifice fly deep to center in the bottom of the ninth drove home pinch-runner Kolby Follis from second base to give FIU a 3-2 victory Wednesday at FIU Baseball Stadium and extend UM’s misery.
Now, with a 4-8 record, the Hurricanes, who suffered another three-hitter, would need to go back to 1954 to find a UM team that started this poorly after 12 games. And that team, coached by Eddie Dunn, ended the season 10-11.
FIU won its fifth consecutive game, putting the Panthers (7-6) over .500 for the first time since winning their season opener.
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Down 2-0, the Panthers scored the winning run against reliever Frankie Bartow.
JC Escarra led off the ninth for FIU with a single and was replaced on first base by Follis. Zack Soria sent Follis to second on a sacrifice bunt. Zach Files was intentionally walked, and Day followed with his shot to UM center fielder Carl Chester on the warning track.
FIU head coach Mervyl Melendez, who also serves as the third-base coach, waved Follis home. But the relay home from Romy Gonzalez, although close, was a bit wide. The Panthers rushed the field in a dog pile, and UM had lost again.
Chandler Raiden (1-0) pitched one inning for the victory. Bartow (1-1), who entered the game in the ninth, took the loss.
UM scored one in the first on a groundout by Gonzalez that brought home Michael Burns (single). The Canes made it 2-0 in the sixth when designated hitter Barry Buchowski doubled home Chester (walk).
UM entered the game hitting .178 as a team. The Canes have now mustered five or fewer hits in seven of their first 12 games.
Irving Lopez walked and subsequently scored FIU’s first run – unearned – against freshman reliever Albert Maury in the sixth on a passed ball with two outs. UM brought in reliever Andrew Cabezas in the seventh, who gave up the tying run on a double by Zach Files and RBI-single by Adam Sevario.
Right-handed UM freshman Evan McKendry, a 6-3, 210-pounder out of North Broward Prep, had an impressive showing in his first career start. He allowed three hits and one walk and struck out six.
Right-handed FIU freshman Tyler Myrick, also making his first career start, came into the game 1-0 with a 9.64 ERA in three previous appearances. But he allowed only one earned run on two hits and three walks in five innings, and struck out a career-high seven batters.
The Canes open their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule against Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. Friday.