The night after a big inning rocketed FIU to a win over Seton Hall in the series opener, the Panthers dealt death by a thousand cuts of the bat.
OK, actually about 15 if you count the 10 hits spread over nine innings, five of which had a single run in FIU’s 5-1 win. FIU got the leadoff hitter on in each of the first six innings.
FIU junior right-hander Chris Mourelle got the win after striking out five, walking two and scattering seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. Sophomore Dominic LoBrutto worked 3 1/3 innings for the save, striking out five, walking one and giving up only two hits.
The series continues with at 1 p.m. Sunday.
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As he did Friday night, junior first baseman JC Escarra drove in the first run for FIU (3-4), this time tying the game 1-1 in the bottom of the first. FIU got leadoff hitter Zack Soria on base in the third, then around to third on a steal and a ground out. But Seton Hall right fielder Ryan Ramiz kept the score tied when he threw out Soria on a tag-up try.
The fourth opened with junior Kenny Meimerstorf tripling off the right-field wall. Meimerstorf got home for a 2-1 lead when junior Kolby Follis bunted and pitcher Zach Schellenger fired the ball into right field. Construction on the fifth inning’s run started with leadoff hitter Soria getting hit by a pitch and ended with Austin Rodriguez’s triple to right field.
Rodriguez is hitting .476 thus far this season, second on the team behind Follis’ .615.
“I’m just trying not to think too much and seeing the ball well,” Rodriguez said Friday night. “See it and hit it. That’s what I’ve been doing.”
In the sixth inning, with runners at the corners for the top of the order, Irving Lopez bunted down the third-base line, and Eddie Silva raced home. In the seventh, Meimerstorf singled in the last run.
Seton Hall’s (2-4) best threat, first and third with one out in the top of the seventh, ended in a flash of LoBrutto. He picked off Ramiz at first base, then struck out Mikael-Ali Mogues looking with the next pitch.