TALLHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2012) - Not even a little rain could dampen the spirits of the FIU baseball team as they upset the No. 8-ranked Florida State Seminoles, 8-5 Friday night at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.
This was the first win for the Panthers over the 'Noles in 22 years. The last time FIU defeated Florida State was on May 2, 1990 and the last win over FSU in Tallahassee came on Feb. 21 of the same year. The last time the Panthers defeated a top-10 opponent was in 2008 when FIU took down top-ranked Miami in Coral Gables in Turtle Thomas's first season as head coach.
Senior R.J. Fondon earned the victory for the Panthers tossing 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out two. Junior Michael Gomez earned the save throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Two Panthers had three-hit games including senior captain Pablo Bermudez (3-for-6 with three runs and a stolen base) and junior Adam Kirsch (3-for-5 with a run and two RBI). Senior Mike Martinez added a 2-for-4 performance with two runs and a stolen base.
The Panthers gave Fondon a nice 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Bermudez scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch from third after he doubled and stole third to lead off the contest. Kirsch drove in Martinez for the second run of the game. Martinez reached base on a walk before stealing second to put himself into scoring position for Kirsch.
The Seminoles got one run back in the bottom half of the first on an RBI single by James Ramsey.
Tyler James Shantz gave FIU a 4-1 lead in the top of the second with a two-run double off the top of the 30-foot-high right field fence scoring Julius Gaines and Bermudez. Gaines reached base on a single. So did Bermudez with a perfectly laid down bunt single.
FSU got two of those runs back in the bottom of the third on a two-run double by Jayce Boyd.
The Panthers answered in the top half of the fourth when Bermudez, who reached on a leadoff single, scored on a wild pitch. Jabari Henry drove in Shantz with an RBI single to make it a 6-3 FIU advantage.
After the Seminoles pulled within one run, David Vazquez made the score 7-5 with his first hit of the year, an RBI single scoring Kirsch in the sixth. With one out in the eighth, Kirsch doubled home Martinez to give the Panthers an 8-5 edge.
The 'Noles threatened in the bottom of the eighth after Gomez allowed the first two runners to reach base. He then struck out Boyd and John Nogowski both looking and enticed Justin Gonzalez to swing at three straight pitches to get out of the inning. Gomez came back out for the ninth and shut the door on the Seminoles to pick up his first career save.
The Panthers will take on the Seminoles in game two of the series Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Mason McVay gets the ball for FIU and Mike Compton will toe the rubber for Florida State.
Fans can also follow the action all season long on Twitter (@FIUBaseball) and Facebook (facebook.com/FIUBaseball) as well as logging on to FIUSports.com's blog - The Prowl -- for live play-by-play game blogs.
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.
FIU Panthers vs. FSU Seminoles Postgame Notes - Feb. 24, 2012
- The win was the seventh all-time for the Panthers against the Seminoles. FSU leads the all-time series 13-7.
- Senior Mike Martinez made his first start of the season.
- Martinez stole his 10th career base in the 1st inning.
- Martinez tied Michael Lopez for fourth on the FIU all-time total bases list with 365.
- Senior Pablo Bermudez hit his 44th career double in the 1st inning, tying him with Corey Lozano for fifth on the FIU all-time doubles list.
- With the win, R.J. Fondon now has 19 career wins at FIU, one shy of tying five former players for fifth all-time.
- Bermudez stole his 39th career base in the 1st inning.
- With three hits in the game, Bermudez is now fifth on the FIU all-time hits list with 231, passing Barry Paulk.
- Freshman Roche Woodard made his first career start for FIU.
- FIU and FSU waited out a 54-minute rain delay in the top of the 2nd.
- FSU has given up a first inning run in all five games played this year.
- The last time the Panthers defeated the Seminoles was on May 2, 1990.
- The last time the Panthers defeated the Seminoles on the road was Feb. 2, 1990.
- The last time the Panthers defeated a top-10 ranked opponent was against Miami on April 23, 2008.
About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 17 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 46,000 students in two campus 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 17 sports. In 2010 the Panthers won their first bowl game. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.
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