FIU baseball team opens season with a 2-1 start against Jacksonville.
By Isadora Rangel
The FIU baseball team kicked off its season with a three-game home stand last weekend against Jacksonville at University Park. After debuting with a 4-3 win on Friday and cruising to a 20-1 victory on Saturday, the Golden Panthers played poorly on Sunday, falling to the Dolphins 9-3.
Pitching proved to be one of the greatest strengths over the weekend with strong performances from newcomers Scott Rembisz and Tom Ebert. Rembisz, the former Florida Junior College Pitcher of the Year, struck out nine batters over six innings on Friday, allowing two hits and no runs.
“Scott is a very good competitor. He doesn’t let the other team score and keeps them off balance,” said head coach Turtle Thomas.
Ebert, an Iowa Western Community College transfer, had an auspicious debut on Saturday, tossing 6.2 innings and allowing only two hits. Of the 84 pitches the junior threw, 62 were strikes, making him one of the 12 athletes selected for the Recruiting Closer’s Pitchers of the Week, announced on Monday.
“Tom has a great split finger ball that drops off the table and he has good tail and synch on his fast ball. Plus, he is a big boy, about 6-6 tall,” said Turtle.
Offensively, the Golden Panthers started off Friday with a single to right by freshman Pablo Bermudez and a run by junior first baseman Tyler Townsend .
Saturday‘s game started off with freshman Michael Vargas’ base hit to right. Lammar Guy’s three-run homer got the scoring started. The team scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two Jacksonville errors, a hit batter and two wild pitches, the Golden Panthers scored 10 points in the bottom of the sixth inning.
On Sunday, however, it was FIU that made too many errors. The defense had four errors and scattered only eight hits. Overall, the team had a poor performance, according to Coach Turtle.
“We made four errors at some critical times of the game. We didn’t solve the pitchers very well, we didn’t catch, played defense, pitch or hit well either,” he said.
With 20 newcomers, 13 of them freshmen, almost all players played last weekend. A young and new team, the Golden Panthers lacked experience to keep playing at the same level throughout the weekend. But as the team continues its play into the season, it hopes to synchronize players with different backgrounds and coaching and define nine solid starting players.
“You just need more games under your belt to get better. Being on the road for the first time, we can see how the team adjusts, how it reacts to different situations,” said Turtle.
The team is playing four games this weekend at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., against Brown, Coastal Carolina and Tennessee. They kick off the weekend with a double header against Brown on Friday, Feb. 27, beginning at 2 p.m.