MIAMI, Fla. – Josh Chester’s grand slam in the ninth inning led the Eagles to an 11-9 victory over the Golden Panthers, Wednesday night at University Park.
The Eagles improve to 18-14 overall, while FIU falls to 19-10.
The Eagles put up the first two runs of the game in the top of the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Mikel Alvarez (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Tim Roberson (West Palm Beach, Fla.).
FIU tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run home run by Tim Jobe.
FIU would take its first lead of the game, scoring two in the bottom of the fifth. Junior Arrojo led off the inning with a single and then stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored on a groundout by Ryan Mollica. Tyler Townsend homered with two out to give FIU the 4-2 lead.
FIU would get two more in the sixth, after a leadoff single followed by a RBI triple and an Eagle error.
Trailing 4-2 in the top of the sixth, Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla.) brought the Eagles within one on a leadoff home run to left field. With runners on first and third with two out, Joe Guarnaccia (Davie, Fla.) homered down the left field line to put the Eagles up 6-4.
FIU would quickly answer with two in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at six.
Another Townsend home run gave FIU the lead in the bottom of the seventh, 8-6.
Trailing for the second time in the game, the Eagles first three batters would reach base followed by an Eagle strike out. With one out and the bases loaded, Brad Roberts (Tampa, Fla.) singled to center to score Alvarez. With the bases still loaded, Josh Chester saw 10 pitches to bring the count full before sending pitch No.11 over the right field wall to put the Eagles up 11-8.
Greg Waddell led off the bottom of a ninth with a solo home run to left field, making it an 11-9 ballgame, but that would be the last FIU run.
FGCU starter Craig Crumbly (Winter Haven, Fla.) threw three full innings, allowed only one hit, and recorded one strike out in the no decision.
Jason Forjet (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) earned his first win of the season; Forjet threw three full innings, allowed one run on two hits, and struck out two.
Offensively, four Eagles recorded multiple hits. Roberson went 3-for-5 with a run scored and one RBI, Roberts went 3-for-5 with a run scored and one RBI, Chester went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI and Guaranccia went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI.
The Eagles will be back in action next week, April 14th as they host UCF at Swanson Stadium at 6:00 p.m., then travel to Orlando, Fla. on Wednesday April 15th to face UCF at 6:30 p.m.