Baseball

FIU baseball falls to Jacksonville State

Players such as third baseman Javier Valdes has stepped up as a leader during the fall. ‘This was the first fall that we started to see our players hold each other accountable,’ according to FIU assistant coach Jered Goodwin said.
Players such as third baseman Javier Valdes has stepped up as a leader during the fall. ‘This was the first fall that we started to see our players hold each other accountable,’ according to FIU assistant coach Jered Goodwin said. fiusports.com

Jacksonville State rallied with three runs in the top of the sixth inning and defeated FIU, 12-6, on Sunday afternoon at the FIU ballpark. With the win, the Gamecocks (2-1) took two of three games from the Panthers (1-2) in the opening weekend series.

After Irving Lopez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth to give FIU a 5-4 lead, Jacksonville State used three RBI singles in the sixth to grab a 7-5 lead it would not relinquish.

Andrew Naismith was hit by a pitch from FIU reliever Robert Garcia (0-1) to start the sixth. After a balk, Naismith scored on a single to center by Chase Robinson to tie the score at 5. Robinson scored the go-ahead run on an RBI single by Taylor Hawthorne to right field. Joe McGuire capped off the scoring with an RBI single.

The Panthers trailed at the outset after the Gamecocks got to starter Alex Demchak for three runs. Demchak went just  1 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and three runs.

Down 4-0 in the bottom of the third inning, FIU came back against JSU starter Derrick Adams, with RBI singles by Javier Valdes and Zack Soria cutting the deficit in half. Christian Khawam then drilled a two-run home run down the left-field line in the fourth to even the score at 4.

Valdes went 4 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Khawam went 3 for 4 with a double to go with his first home run in an FIU uniform.

Jacksonville State relievers Cody Dodd (1-0) and Tyler Wilburn limited the Panthers to two runs over the final five innings.

FIU will host Miami in its next game at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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