Saints Manage Just One Unearned Run and Four Hits in Loss to Nationally Ranked Panthers
Feb. 15, 2003
Miami-Manuel Monreal pitched six shutout innings to his twin brother Mario leading the #25 Florida International Golden Panthers (9-1) past Siena College (0-2) in baseball action Saturday afternoon at FIU Community Stadium in Miami. The Siena pitching staff forced in three of FIU's eight runs with bases loaded walks or hit batters.
The Golden Panthers jumped on top in their initial at bat, scoring three runs with two outs off Siena starter Ryan Bitter. Soloman Frieder's double to left centerfield plated the first two tallies and eventually came around to score on a Yahmen Yema single.
Bitter settled down and pitched brilliantly in his final four innings of work. The junior college transfer struck out six and retired nine of 10 batters at one point in his first Division I college start. The three first inning runs he allowed were the only scored in the game's first five innings and he did not walk a batter.
Siena put runners on in each of the first two innings, but failed to score as a result of inning-ending double plays. In the top of the first, Shawn Hampton lined a one-hopper to short with one out and runners on the corners to put an end to the threat.
FIU got back on the board in the sixth inning, as four straight batters reached base after reliever Gary Tarantino retired the first two batters he faced. Dennis Diaz's line drive single to centerfield plated the fourth Panther run and Kevin Wells' bases loaded walk of Adam Summerell forced in the fifth.
The Panthers added two more runs in their next at bat scoring first when Josh Courage-the Saints fourth pitcher of the day, hit Mario Monreal with the bases loaded. Courage then misfired on a bunt back to the mound allowing FIU's seventh run to score.
Siena's lone run came in the top of the eighth inning as Blake Hanan led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Chris DelVechio's groundout advanced Hanan to third and he scored on a grounder to short by classmate Kevin Roberts.
Courage forced in the final run of the game by again hitting Mario Monreal with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth.
Hanan, Hampton, Matt Mueller and Tony Cipolla were the only Saints to record a hit on the afternoon.
"We really shot ourselves in the foot today," Head Coach Tony Rossi said following the game. "We can't afford to give a team like this any extra opportunities, and we provided them with plenty today. On the bright side, the mistakes we are making are correctable and it's still very early. We need to play more aggressive in every aspect of the game."
The two teams will wrap up their three-game weekend set at noon on Sunday.