The FIU bats were dormant for eight innings Tuesday night against South Florida. However, the Panthers roared to life in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score and walked off with a 5-4 win in the bottom of the 11th inning against the Bulls
at the FIU Baseball Stadium.
Down 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Panthers (9-8) got a leadoff single from T.J. Shantz and an RBI double by
Aramis Garcia to cut the deficit to two runs. Josh Anderson immediately followed Garcia (photo, above left) and belted a two-run home run just past the flag pole in left center field to tie the score 4-4.
After sterling relief from right-hander Mitchell Davis (3-0), who pitched two scoreless innings and struck out four batters to pick up the win, the Panthers won it in the 11th.
In the bottom of the 11th against Bulls closer Steven Leasure, Shantz drew a leadoff walk. Garcia came up and just missed his fourth home run of the season as the FIU catcher drilled his second RBI double of the game off the wall in left center.
Shantz easily rounded third base and scored the winning run. Garcia got mobbed by his teammates by the pitcher’s mound after Shantz touched home.
Anderson (photo, above right) was 2 for 3 with his team-leading fourth home run of the season. Garcia was 2 for 5 with two doubles and two RBI. Garcia continued his hot hitting from the weekend against No. 19 Rice. Including Tuesday’s game, in the last four
games Garcia is 9 for 17 (.529) with 10 RBI.
John Caballero started and pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowed three earned runs and struck out six. The FIU bullpen provided 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Besides Davis, Albert Cardenas and Jason Morozowski also pitched shutout relief.
FIU closes out the brief two-game series against USF on Wednesday afternoon. The first pitch for the series finale is scheduled for 3 p.m. You can watch all FIU home games on PantherVision on FIUSports.com.