MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The FIU Panthers beat UM on a walk-off sacrifice fly Wednesday night, picking up the second leg of its home-and-home with the crosstown Hurricanes by a final score of 3-2.
Trailing 2-0 late in the game, FIU (7-6) tied the game with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the ninth, FIU’s JC Escarra led off with a single off Miami closer Frankie Bartow (0-1).
A sacrifice bunt moved Escarra into scoring position, and, with two runners on base, FIU’s Nick Day lifted a ball to deep center field that plated pinch runner Kolby Follis from second.
Chandler Raiden (1-0) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the win in front of 1,564 fans.
Making his first career start as a Hurricane, freshman righthander Evan McKendry delivered an impressive showing on the hill.
He struck out two batters in his first inning and a career-high six on the night, weaving his way out of any trouble in five shutout innings.
McKendry allowed just three hits and one walk across 82 pitches.
After struggling to string together any offense Tuesday at home, Miami wasted little time in opening the scoring Wednesday.
The Hurricanes (4-8) quickly loaded the bases against FIU righthander Tyler Myrick, as singles from juniors Michael Burns and Carl Chester were sandwiched around a walk from senior Johnny Ruiz.
Sophomore Romy Gonzalez chopped an RBI groundout to short for the game’s opening run, sending Miami to an early 1-0 advantage. Myrick did well to limit the damage, striking out junior Hunter Tackett and senior Barry Buchowski to keep the FIU deficit to one run.
Myrick struck out seven batters in 5.0 innings. He walked three and allowed two hits before being relieved by Michael Agis in the sixth.
Miami took advantage of the pitching change, tagging Agis for a run to double its lead to 2-0.
After a leadoff walk by Chester to open the sixth, Buchowski laced a two-out double to right-center that scored Chester from second.
McKendry did well to escape a second-inning jam. After the first two Panthers batters of the inning reached base via single and walk, McKendry struck out Zach Files and Eddie Silva to maintain the visitors’ 1-0 lead.
FIU threatened once again in the fourth, but McKendry worked his way out of trouble. After retiring the leadoff hitter on a flyout, McKendry allowed back-to-back singles to Kenny Meimerstorf and Escarra.
Bu McKendry struck out FIU catcher Zack Soria and, with two runners in scoring position, got Files for the second time to end the inning.
McKendry retired the FIU side in order in the fifth on three straight groundouts before being relieved by freshman Albert Maury, Jr., to open the sixth.
FIU plated an unearned run in Maury’s first inning on a passed ball charged to Miami catcher Joe Gomez that scored Irving Lopez from third.
An RBI single from FIU’s Adam Sevario off Miami righthander Andrew Cabezas tied the game 2-2 in the seventh.
The Hurricanes return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Friday for their opening ACC series against visiting Georgia Tech.
The Panthers stay home for a three-game series against the visiting Charleston Southern University Buccaneers. The first game is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday.