The Golden Panthers baseball team has struggled away from home, at least in Little Rock, Arkansas. In the first of the three game series, FIU fought hard but lost in twelve innings to a score of 5 – 4. The second of the series was one dominated by the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, losing 19 – 5, a very lopsided affair. It seems as though UALR has the Golden Panthers number, but they are looking to fight and prove they’re no pushover. They’re going to need support from Jabari Henry, standout freshman, and Pablo Bermudez, who have been consistent signs of offense for the Golden Panthers. The two of them combined for 4-8 and 3 of the Golden Panthers’ 5 runs in the last game after going 1-11 in the first game of the series, sending them into 5-17 in the series, not the numbers FIU was hoping to get out of two of their main hitters.
In addition, the pitching and defense need to step up after the ridiculous amount of runs allowed in the last game. Allowing 19 runs and having your catcher make an appearance as a pitcher makes winning a bit tough. When your pitching gives up 17 earned runs and your defense commits 3 errors, it will be extremely difficult to salvage anything in a game. It puts more strain on the hitters to make sure they can keep up with the offensive machine that is the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. Aaron Arboleya is the projected starter today and the FIU baseball team are going to rally behind him. For the Golden Panthers to take at least one game of the series, they’re going to need a quality start from Arboleya, at least 6 innings of, maximum, 2 run baseball, and quality defense with little or no errors. Henry, Bermudez, and Garret Wittels, another key batter in the FIU lineup, need to come through and make sure the offense is up and running like we’ve seen in the early stages of this season
Prediction: I call for an FIU win, along the lines of 4 – 2. I believe the team will rally behind a good pitching outing from Arboleya as well as the hot bat of freshman Jabari Henry.