William Duval | Staff Writer
FIU baseball finished 1-2 in a three-game series against the UAB Blazers, reaching its conclusion on Sunday, March 26 2023, at the FIU Baseball Stadium in Miami, Florida.
Prior to this series, the Panthers took a 12-5 loss to FGCU, making their record 12-10 for the season.
Game one of the series was mostly controlled by the Blazers, with senior Brayton Brown securing the first run of the day in the second inning.
FIU answered back immediately, with a freshman Roylan Quevedo hit, leading to a score from redshirt senior Alec Sanchez. Redshirt sophomore Brendan Roney followed this up with a hit good for a single, leading to a score for junior Adrian Figueroa.
The Panthers eventually held a 5-2 lead by the top of the fifth inning. However, this lead would prove to light a spark to the Blazers, having an offensive eruption in the fifth inning.
UAB’s offensive onslaught began with a hit up the middle from graduate John Marc Mullins, which provided enough time for sophomore Gavin Lewis Jr. to score. Junior Blayze Berry then delivered the Blazers a hit good enough for two runs.
By the end of the fifth inning, the Panthers found themselves in a 11-5 deficit.
FIU didn’t score for the rest of the game, falling 15-5 to UAB.
Game two of the series began with what seemed to be a continuation of the previous game. In the second inning, Mullins and Lewis Jr. provided the Blazers with hits leading to two runs, giving them a 2-0 early lead.
The Panthers followed this up with a home run from Sanchez. This cut UAB’s lead down to 2-1.
In the third inning, the Blazers kept up their hot hitting, with Lewis Jr. providing them with a hit good enough for two runs. By the start of the fourth inning, UAB held a 4-1 lead over FIU.
Finding themselves in a three run deficit, the Panthers were desperately in need of a score, and junior Ryne Guida provided exactly that with an energizing home run. This marked the beginning of an offensive onslaught for FIU, mostly coming in the sixth inning.
At the top of the sixth inning, the Panthers found themselves tied with the Blazers, having made a three run comeback. After hits from both Quevedo and Roney respectively, Guida and Figueroa found their way to home plate. FIU found themselves holding a 6-4 lead, their first of the game.
However, the Panthers were still not satisfied with a two run lead. Redshirt senior Mike Rosario hammered in an emphatic three-run home run. The offense continued through the seventh inning and FIU won game two of the series with a score of 13-5.
After two high scoring games, the third in the series would be the lowest scoring affair.
The Panthers were the first to score with a Guida single leading to a score from sophomore Bryan Loriga. FIU held a 1-0 lead until the third inning.
UAB answered back in the third inning, with sophomore Tyler Waugh making a hit, allowing Lewis Jr. to score. The Blazers tied the game with a score of 1-1.
Loriga made a hit good for a double, setting himself up in scoring position. Then junior Dante Girardi hit for a single, allowing Loriga to run in for the score. FIU took a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth inning.
No team scored until the sixth inning, where UAB would find a huge impact from sophomore Logan Braunschweig. He started by making a hit for a single, followed by a diving steal to second base.
Junior Ben Abernathy came up to bat and make a hit good for a Braunschweig score. UAB took their first lead of the game, holding a 3-2 lead.
Scoring was low, as no team scored until the eighth inning. Abernathy made a late game impact, making another hit for a double and score. Sophomore Henry Hunter would make a hit, allowing Abernathy to score.
UAB took a 5-2 lead and maintain it throughout the rest of the game, defeating FIU. The Panthers record now sits at 13-12 after losing two of the three games in the series.
FIU is looking to gain some momentum in their next matchup against the Miami Hurricanes. The game will be played on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at Alex Rodriguez Park in Coral Gables, Florida.
First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on ACC Network.
Follow William Duval on Twitter at @WillDuval40