Hurricanes Hang on Late to Defeat the FIU Panthers 10-8

Recap report by Russell Hanson

Image edit @UnderdogGraphix

Talk about grinding out a win. The Miami Hurricanes (6-2) were in control for most of the game before a late Panthers (3-4) rally got them within two runs.  Alex Toral led the Canes with three hits including a seventh inning home run, his sixth of the year.

Freddy Zamora opened the scoring in the top of the third inning. His single to right field drove in Tony Jenkins and Jordan Lala to put the Canes up 2-0.

Adrian Del Castillo was put on after being hit which was followed by an Alex Toral double.

Toral’s double pushed Zamora across the plate for the Canes third run. The scoring wouldn’t stop there as FIU reliever Wlll Saxton’s wild pitch would allow Del Castillo to score.

The teams would head to the bottom of the fourth with the Canes up 4-0.

FIU did not hesitate to respond. Slade Cecconi’s first pitch of the fourth inning was sent out of the park by FIU third baseman Austin Shenton to bring the Panthers back within three.

Michael Amditis and Tony Jenkins managed to draw walks to lead off the fourth inning putting the Canes in a good spot. The opportunity would not be wasted as RBIs from Lala, Anthony Vilar, and Del Castillo would stretch the Hurricanes lead to six.

The resilient Panthers would answer with yet another leadoff home run this time by catcher Javier Valdes bringing the score to 7-2.

In the fifth inning, Miami starter Slade Cecconi would be replaced by reliever Tyler Keysor. Cecconi finished with four walks and four strikeouts while allowing two earned runs.

Command was an issue for the freshman as he threw 84 pitches through four innings but he was able to limit the Panthers’ run production only allowing both earned runs on solo homers.

“I thought he was huge,” DiMare said. “These guys swing the bat a little bit and they always have. Tyler came in and I thought he did a great job of mixing his pitches. His fastball, he did a great job of keeping it down. We didn’t get a lot of ground-ball outs today and when they did hit ground-balls we didn’t defend them. His split worked good and he got some strikeouts. His box score doesn’t show it right, but he pitched much better than that.”

Keysor would hold FIU scoreless in the fifth and sixth inning while the Hurricanes added an additional insurance run. In the top of the seventh, it really looked like the Hurricanes had put the Panthers to bed.

Alex Toral and third baseman Raymond Gil would hammer back to back home runs to put the Hurricanes up 10-2. However, FIU would not go quietly. Are you sensing a theme here?

FIU’s Valdes crushed a two-run double which put the Panthers within six and would chase UM’s Tyler Keysor from the game. Greg Veliz would enter for the Hurricanes and the first batter he faced, Seth Cannady, hit a shot over the left field fence to get the Panthers two runs closer.

Freshman right-hander Daniel Federman would take over in the ninth for the Hurricanes and allowed three straight singles bringing the score to 10-8. Federman however would show great resilience as he settled down to secure the victory.

“There’s ugly wins and there’s UGLY wins and that was an ugly, ugly win,” head coach Gino DiMare said. “You’re happy you won, but that’s an ugly, ugly win.”

The Hurricanes will return to action Friday night at The Light as they begin a three game series with the UMBC Retrievers (2-1). First pitch is scheduled for 7p.m.

Go Canes!