Panthers Baseball Welcomes Rival FAU | Series Preview

Panthers Baseball FAU

Photo by Kevin Barral

Miami, FL – After a tough walk-off loss against the University of Miami, getting swept by Middle Tennessee, and losing to Stetson, the FIU Panthers fall to under .500 with a 13-17 record. To make matters worse, the team is on a six-game losing streak. Unfortunately for FIU, the chances for them to have a bounceback series are not there. FIU will go up against FAU (Florida Atlantic University) who are 19-11 on the season.

Looking at what has been positive for the Panthers, it’s the offense. Led by Dante Girardi who is slashing .312/.391/.431/.822 with one homer and 17 RBIs. The team has been able to score high amounts of runs which shows that the offense is still high-powered and cannot be stopped.

Mike Rosario has also been on fire. Slashing .356/.421/.610/1.031 with seven homers and 16 RBIs, the Miami transfer has found himself in a great position with the Panthers and is having the success he did not have with the Canes.

Looking at the negatives of this team, unfortunately, there are a lot. Starting with the team’s pitching. The starting pitching hasn’t been disappointing, to say the least. They keep the team in games and really haven’t allowed many runs. The issue has been the bullpen. Late in games, when FIU has a lead, the bullpen tends to give it up. Looking at the University of Miami game where Cameron Knox was looking good thus far in his outing until he gave up a walk-off homer to Zach Levinson to win the game. If the bullpen could hold on to leads, especially late in the game, then this FIU team would most likely be over .500 and in a much better situation.

Looking at the FAU Owls, the big name for this team is a future MLB draft pick Nolan Schanuel. Ranked as the number 64 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. With a 55 hit, 50 power, 50 arm, and 50 field, the first baseman will make an impact. This season, Schanuel is slashing .458/.605/.885/1.490 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs. Schanuel will not only be the player to watch in this series, but a player to see go in the early rounds of the draft.

Pitching Preview

Panthers Starters:

  • Game 1: Jackson Ritchey
  • Game 2: Orlando Hernandez
  • Game 3: Angel Tiburcio

FAU Owls Starters:

  • Game 1: Hunter Cooley
  • Game 2: Jacob Josey
  • Game 3: Dylan Osborne

Looking back at Ritchey’s last start, it was against the Miami Hurricanes (Relief appearance against Middle Tennessee) where he went two scoreless innings and struck out two. In his relief appearance against the Blue Raiders, Ritchey allowed three runs (two earned). If we see the Jackson Ritchey from the Hurricanes game, then the Panthers will be in good shape for game one.

Orlando Hernandez, primarily a reliever will be the starter for the middle game. After his solid outing against the Canes, Hernandez went out there two more times. In the game against Middle Tennessee, he allowed two runs (one earned), and against Stetson, he allowed four runs (two earned). If Orlando can replicate the early portion of his outing against the Canes, FIU will be able to get some nice innings in from Hernandez, who is here to eat innings in his position.

Finally, Angel Tiburcio, the only true starter on the team is set to go in the series finale. In his last outing, Tiburcio went 3.1 innings, struck out one, and allowed four runs.


FAU baseball takes two out of three over FIU and Nolan Schanuel hits three homers in the series.

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