LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 10, 2013) – Behind stellar starting pitching from junior
Tyler Alexander, 16 hits from the offense and great relief pitching, the FIU Panther baseball team (24-26, 12-13) earned a key 12-3 victory over the UALR Trojans on Friday night at Gary Hogan Field.
Making his 13th start this year, Alexander struck out a career-high 13 batters in 5 1/3 innings of six-hit ball. Giving up three earned runs, the junior punched out the side in the first and second inning. He also retired 10-straight from the
second to fifth inning. Junior Albert Cardenas came in and pitched some stellar relief, going 2 2/3 no-hit innings with four strikeouts.
On the offensive end, FIU’s 16 hits were one shy of its season-high. Sophomore
Aramis Garcia recorded four hits, including two doubles, while driving in five runs. Junior
Josh Anderson tallied two hits, including a three-run homer in the eighth inning. Freshman
Antonio Rodriguez reached base safely in four plate appearances and junior
Tyler Hibbert also reached safely five times and scored three runs.
FIU struck in the first inning when Hibbert and junior Zach Sweety reached base on balls and Garcia loaded the bases with an infield single. Freshman
Edwin Rios drove in Hibbert on a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. In the bottom half, Alexander struck out the side and held the Trojans scoreless, despite loading the bases.
The Panthers added another run in the third inning. Rodriguez drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Hibbert. The freshman went on to score when Sweety singled to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, the FIU offense continued to flourish off Trojan starter Chance Cleveland. Rodriguez again reached base on a single to right. A single by Hibbert would lead to runners on first and second with one out. Garcia delivered the big hit of the inning,
an RBI double to the left centerfield gap to give FIU a 3-0 advantage.
Alexander was untouchable heading into the fifth inning, as he retired 10-straight before hitting Trojan nine-hitter Kaleb Jobe with a pitch. The FIU southpaw then surrendered a walk, leading to a three-run homer to UALR’s Austin Pfeiffer to tie the game
up at three. Nevertheless, Alexander tallied his 12th strikeout to end the inning.
The Panthers rallied behind Alexander in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, FIU collected three-straight singles from senior
T.J. Shantz, sophomore Oscar Aguirre and Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s base-hit scored Shantz to give FIU a 4-3 lead. The Panthers extended that lead to 5-3 on an RBI groundout by Sweety.
Alexander came out in the sixth and fanned his 13th of the game, but gave up two base hits and was relieved by junior
Albert Cardenas. The Naples, Fla. native came in and recorded two big strikeouts to end the Trojan scare.
FIU broke the game open in the eighth inning as the first six batters reached base and scored. Rodriguez led off with a screaming ball down the third base line that went off the third baseman’s glove, giving him a double. Hibbert singled and stole second,
followed by a second base-hit of the game for Sweety. Garcia cleared the bases with a three-run double to extend the Panther lead to 8-3. Rios walked to put two runners on for Anderson, who ripped his seventh home run of the season to put the game out of reach,
FIU went on to tally one in the ninth on an RBI groundout by Garcia.
FIU is back in action tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET at Gary Hogan Field.
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About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men's soccer). 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 bachelor’s, master’s 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. FIU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has
400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.