David Miranda pounded a single through a drawn-in Florida International infield, keeping in barely inside the first base bag, to key a three-run FAU eighth inning that propelled the Owls to a 7-4 victory over FIU in the opening game of the Conference USA tournament in Biloxi, Miss.
The play wasn’t all positive for Miranda and the Owls. Miranda’s hit should have netted him at least a double, but the senior pulled up lame before reaching first base with an apparent hamstring injury that forced the Owls’ leading RBI man to leave the game.
Miranda’s hit came with the bases loaded and no one out. He was kneeling on first base when Tyler Frank crossed the plate with the third run of the play.
“What a great game,” FAU coach John McCormack said. “I’m sorry it took fans hours to play. I’m glad we came out on top.”
The game featured two separate weather delays that lasted more than two-and-a-half hours total. From opening pitch to the final out, it took more than six hours to complete the contest.
FAU held leads of 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 before Zach Schneider finally closed out the Pantherers, recording his C-USA leading 14th save.
“These guys just kept charging and charging,” McCormack said.
Starting pitcher Jake Miednik allowed one unearned run in two innings before the first weather delay. An All-Conference USA selection, Miednik battled shoulder tendinitis over the final month of the season and didn’t return after the first weather delay struck following the second inning.
GameBrowser: No. 3 FAU (37-15-1, 20-8-1) 7, No. 6 FIU (26-27) 3
Moving Forward: Gunnar Lambert blasted a solo home run over the right field fence that gave FAU its 4-3 lead. …Lead-off hitter Cody Wilson had two hits, scored two runs and made a diving catch near the warning track that likely prevented two runs from scoring. …Eric Rivera had two hits and drove in the first two FAU runs. …By only throwing two innings, Miednik should be available for another performance should the Owls make a deep run in the C-USA tournament. …Blake Sanderson threw three scoreless innings but didn’t return after the second rain delay.
Sliding Backward: FIU outhit FAU 14-8. …Joe Montes went 0-for-3, as did Richie Nizza. …Reliever Drew Peden surrendered two runs on four hits and a walk in one inning of work. …In a tournament where pitching depth will be tested, FAU used five pitchers in the first game.
Key Stat: 9 – Walks drawn by FAU batters.
Up Next: FAU faces the winner of the No. 2 Louisiana Tech vs. No. 7 Rice on Friday at 10 a.m..