LaRue, Miller homer in loss to FIU
Series finale slated for 10 a.m. CT SundayMay 5, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MIAMI - Hank LaRue hammered his third home run of the season and Trent Miller added his 12th, but the Blue Raider baseball team fell short against the FIU Panthers in a 12-6 defeat on Saturday evening at FIU Baseball Stadium. LaRue finished the day 3-for-4 with three RBI, while Miller was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
“For the past two days, FIU has been better than us,” head coach Steve Peterson said. “They have outplayed us and we couldn't put another big inning together (after the first)."
It was LaRue’s long ball that gave MT (25-23, 11-12 Sun Belt) the early 3-0 lead. Ethan Williams took a two-out walk before Miller smacked a double off the base of the leftfield wall. LaRue then smashed a 3-2 pitch over the rightfield wall to put the Blue Raiders on the board in the opening frame.
The Panthers (28-19, 13-10 SBC) one-upped MT in the bottom half of the inning, tagging Blue Raider starter Johnathan Frebis (4-3) for four runs. Three singles and a sac fly plated one run, then Adam Kirsch delivered a three-run blow for the one-run advantage. Frebis would toss just an inning and two-thirds before exiting, giving up five runs on five hits.
An RBI-groundout in the second gave FIU a 5-3 lead, but MT inched back in the fourth after LaRue collected his second hit of the game. He dropped a base-hit into left center and reached second on a passed ball. Ryan Stephens drove him home with a rip up the middle to cut the deficit to one.
FIU proceeded to score three runs over the next two frames on home runs from Jabari Henry and Aramis Garcia, giving the Panthers an 8-4 lead.
Miller’s homer in the sixth brought MT back to within three. He sent the first pitch of the frame to left-center, then the Blue Raiders chipped away again in the seventh, scoring another run on a passed ball. With Justin Guidry at first, Williams laced a double to right to put runners at second and third with two outs. Guidry charged home on the passed ball to close the gap to 8-6.
The Panthers tacked on four insurance runs in the seventh and eighth to account for the final score. FIU starter Michael Ellis (3-2) picked up the win for his seven-inning, seven-hit performance, allowing six runs, four of them earned. Mason McVay closed out the final two innings, giving up two hits.
MT will look to take the final game of the series on Sunday as Jonathan Sisco will take the mound for the Blue Raiders. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT and the game will air on WMOT 89.5 with Dick Palmer on the call.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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