Josh Anderson and the FIU baseball team defeated two opponents – Arkansas State and time -- Sunday afternoon in the series finale at the FIU Baseball Stadium.
With Sunday’s game being played on a time limit – no inning could start after 2:30 p.m. due to Arkansas State’s travel plans – the Panthers and the Red Wolves were tied in the bottom of the 11th inning. The bottom of the 11th began
at 2:28 p.m. so FIU could either tie Arkansas State or walk-off with a victory.
Anderson (photo above) made sure the Panthers walked off with a win.
ASU closer John Koch delivered a hanging change-up on the first pitch to Anderson, who drilled it for a three-run walk-off home run to left that gave FIU a 9-6 win and a sweep of the three-game series.
Roche Woodard led off the 11th with a single and moved to third on a double by Edwin Rios before Anderson hit his fifth home run of the season. Anderson tied Aramis Garcia for the team lead in home runs.
The Panthers improved to 15-12 and 5-4 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Red Wolves dropped to 16-13 and 4-5 in the SBC.
FIU got going Sunday morning – first pitch was at 11 a.m. – on the strength of a three-run home run by Tyler Hibbert. The junior center fielder hit a line drive to left that kept carrying over the wall for his first career home run.
ASU rallied with two runs in the fourth and three runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-3 lead. Anderson, who finished 3 for 6 with five RBI, tied the score with a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth.
FIU pulled ahead in the sixth inning thanks to some nifty baserunning by T.J. Shantz and Hibbert. Shantz singled to lead off the inning and went to third base on Hibbert’s single to right. With one out, Julius Gaines hit a grounder to second baseman Alex
Potts, who threw to shortstop Dustin Jones at second base for the second out, but Hibbert slid hard into Jones and took him out to prevent the double play. Shantz scored on the fielder’s choice to give FIU a 6-5 lead.
The Red Wolves tied the score at 6-6 in the ninth on an unearned run off Albert Cardenas before Anderson’s heroics in the 11th.
The Panthers got shutdown relief pitching from Dillon Maya, Cardenas and Mitchell Davis over the final six innings. The three pitchers combined to allow no earned runs. Davis (4-2) picked up the win.
Gaines, Rios and Hibbert each had two hits for the Panthers.
FIU will next host Florida A&M for a two-game series beginning Tuesday at the FIU Baseball Stadium. First pitch for Tuesday’s game is at 6 p.m. Wednesday’s game begins at 4 p.m.
You can watch all FIU home baseball games on PantherVision on FIUSports.com.