With the game on the line in the eighth and 10th innings, South Florida intentionally walked Oscar Aguirre twice to get to Roche Woodard in Wednesday’s matinee at the FIU Baseball Stadium.
The Bulls got away with it the first time, but paid dearly the second instance as Woodard laced the game-winning hit to fuel FIU past USF 4-3 in 10 innings. It was the second consecutive game that the Panthers (10-8) defeated the Bulls (7-10) in extra innings.
FIU won 5-4 in 11 innings late Tuesday night.
With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th, Nathan Burns drew a one-out walk off USF left-hander Lawrence Pardo. After T.J. Shantz’s ground out moved Burns to second base, Pardo (2-1) intentionally passed Aguirre to get to Woodard. USF
employed the same strategy in the eighth inning and Woodard walked before Julius Gaines struck out to end the inning.
This time Woodard took the free pass to Aguirre in front of him as a challenge and drilled a single to left center scoring Burns with the winning run. After Woodard rounded first base, the Panthers mobbed him near second base to celebrate the victory.
On a day when the Panthers were limited with their pitching depth after three hurlers worked multiple innings in Tuesday’s win, FIU got what it needed from freshman right-hander Dillon Maya.
Maya, making his first collegiate start, pitched two-hit ball over six shutout innings. Freshman Jason Morozowski (1-0) finished the game on the mound for FIU pitching two scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win.
FIU got on the board first with RBI singles by Gaines and Edwin Rios in the fifth inning. Aramis Garcia added a sacrifice fly scoring Gaines in the seventh. Gaines, Rios and Anderson each had two hits for FIU.
The Panthers next open their final season in the Sun Belt Conference with a three-game series at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton on Friday at 6:30 p.m.