Photo of Mike Franco by Sam Lewis
Box Score - FIU 1, Stony Brook 0
MIAMI (Feb. 17, 2013) – The FIU baseball team (3-0) completed a three-game sweep of the Stony Brook Seawolves (0-3) with a 1-0 shutout victory on Sunday afternoon at the FIU Baseball Stadium.
“We’re resilient,” FIU Head Coach Turtle Thomas said. “We did a nice job yesterday and we pitched well all weekend and that was a very positive sign. We’ve just got to keep getting better every day that we practice and work at the game
all the time”
This is the first sweep of an opening series for the Panthers since they swept Maryland to start the season in 2010 and the first time the Panthers strung together consecutive shutouts since they blanked the Troy Trojans on March 6 and 7 of 2009.
FIU starting pitcher Mike Franco earned the win in his first-career FIU start just 10 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Franco, on a strict pitch count in a predetermined start, went 2 2/3 innings, gave up one hit and struck out
four Stony Brook batters. Alex Seibold, Mitchell Davis and
Mike Gomez combined with Franco for the shutout with Gomez earning his second save in as many days.
“It felt good,” Franco said of his surgically repaired elbow after the game. “The coach’s had me on a pitch count. Everything was coming together little by little. I threw a lot better this first game than in the intrasquad games we’ve been [using to] prepare.”
In all, the FIU pitching staff held the Seawolves scoreless over the final 23 innings of the series.
Julius Gaines supplied most of the offense for the Panthers, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Over the series, Gaines hit an impressive .700 (7-for-10) with four runs scored and two stolen bases.
The Panthers struck first in the bottom of the first on an unorthodox play.
Josh Anderson hit a sky-high pop fly that was carried by the wind and landed in no-man’s land in right, forcing
Nathan Burns, who singled in his previous at bat, to stay close to the bag at first. When the ball fell, Burns was thrown out at second, but Gaines, who singled in the inning, was able to score from third and give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
The run was all the Panthers needed as Gomez shut the door on the Seawolves in the ninth inning, allowing only a single while striking out three.
FIU will next travel to Daytona Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 20, for a mid-week contest against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Game time is slated for 4:00 p.m. FIU’s next home series will take place on Feb. 22-24, against the Manhattan Jaspers starting
on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
Fans are encouraged to follow @FIUBaseball on Twitter, and “Like” FIU baseball on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/FIU Baseball) for the latest Panther baseball news. Follow all of FIU’s 18 athletic teams on Google+ (FIU Athletics), Twitter (@FIUAthletics), Facebook
(Facebook.com/FIUSports), YouTube (FIUPanthers), and Instagram (FIUathletics).
Tickets are on sale for all FIU home games at the University Credit Union Box Office at the R. Kirk Landon Field House or by calling 305-FIU-Game or logging on to FIUSports.com.
About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports. Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S.
Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.
About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelors, masters and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations,
architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission
and enrolls nearly 48,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. More than 140,000 alumni live and work in South Florida. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.
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