MIAMI, Fla. – FIU jumped out to a big first inning and never looked back on Tuesday night using 17 hits to defeat the FGCU baseball team 19-6 in a non-conference matchup at FIU Baseball Stadium.
The Panthers (29-16) scored five runs in the first and eight more in the fourth en route to their ninth consecutive win. The Eagles, who now stand at 22-23 on the season, will now turn their attention to a big Atlantic Sun home weekend against first place and No. 15 Stetson.
Senior Zach Maxfield (North Port, Fla./North Port HS) did extend his hit streak to 10 games with his team-high 10th home run of the season to leadoff the fourth. The double figure hit streak is the third of the season for Maxfield who takes over the all-time lead with 41 round-trippers and becomes the first player in program history to hit double-digit homers three consecutive seasons. Maxfield was also hit-by-pitch and walked on the evening.
Junior Javi Sujo (Miami, Fla./Miami Sunset HS) accounted for one-third of FGCU’s nine hits, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and one RBI. The multi-hit game was the 15th of the season for Sujo. Freshman Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) had the only other multi-hit night for the Eagles.
FIU accumulated 17 hits and was issued nine walks by six different FGCU pitchers. Batters 4-7 in the FIU lineup combined to go 7-for-15 with seven runs scored and 11 RBI.
Senior Craig Crumbly (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region HS) started the game on the mound for the Blue and Green and was credited with the loss after going two innings.
FGCU did turn a rare triple-play in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded. Junior Andrew Swain (Daytona Beach, Fla./Seabreeze HS/Brevard CC) got preseason All-American Garrett Wittels, who was batting to initiate the triple-play. Wittels produced a 56-game hit streak last season, the second-longest streak in NCAA history.
The weekend series opener against the nationally-ranked Hatters will begin on Friday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. Free live audio and video of the game along with live stats can be found on www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.