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Strong Finish/Strong Start Needed; Win A GPP Blog (Baseball Edition)

Start of an important week for FIU hoops and baseball in next few days.

Agal With 4 games left in the regular season, the Panthers hoops team is battling with 4 other Sun Belt teams for the 2 remaining spots to host a 1st round Sun Belt game. At 5-9 in SBC play, FIU is neck and neck with Louisiana (6-8), Arkansas State and ULM (both 5-9) and New Orleans (5-10) for the final 2 home game berths in the tourney's 1st round. Coming off a last second loss to South Alabama where Alex Galindo (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez) drained 8 3-pointers, FIU plays next vs. Troy at home on Thursday and has 3 of its final 4 games at the Bank (at Western Kentucky, home vs. Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic). FIU needs to start the SBC tourney at home, because it does not travel well with a 2-11 road record.

The FIU baseball team, led by All-Sun Belters Tyler Townsend and Ryan Mollica (below left to right, thanks Sam Lewis), opens the 2009 season with a 3-game series against a tough Jacksonville team at home on Friday night at 7 p.m. It should be an improved Panthers squad with better pitching and a pretty good freshman class that should see some playing time from the beginning. You can catch the FIU baseball preview in Thursday's MH in print and on-line. Junior right-hander Scott Rembisz, the Florida JUCO Pitcher of the Year, is scheduled to be the FIU Opening Day starter.

Blog Last year nobody won the 1st annual Win A GPP Blog (Baseball Edition) after everyone predicted tooFiubase lofty a record for the Panthers, who finished 20-36. So we'll try it again this season. The person to guess FIU baseball's final record or closest to the final record without going over the loss total will get to write their own GPP Blog. Second place gets an FIU Baseball Media Guide.

Since there are only so many records you can guess for a 56-game season, the first tiebreaker will be guessing how far FIU advances in the postseason or does not make it at all and the second tiebreaker will be how many runs FIU scores this season -- and like the Price Is Right it's   Pr the number closest to FIU's losses and runs scored without going over.

Here's a sample entry to help you out: 30-26, Sun Belt semifinals, 422 runs.

We'll continue our FIU football spring tour on the next post.


CalPanther: I know we are investing a lot in the football which is awesome, but I was wondering if the U.S. century bank arena will have a new make over as well?

PP: Once the football facilites are done, the Bank would be next on the to-do things list. There have been some recent renovations at the arena such as new bathrooms.

FIUBlueandGold: Will the team be practicing in the stadium for spring ball or at the rec fields? Pete: what's the latest with FC Barca and Claure's bid with the MLS ??

PP: The team is expected to practice spring ball at the stadium. March 19 is supposed to be the day when MLS makes Miami its newest franchise.

FIU_Fiji_Falcon: Hey Pete, could you do me a favor? Can you show a picture of the old SunblazerSunblazers mascot?

PP: Here you go:

KJHarris02:  By the way Pete, are you going to be doing any interviews on some of the new and upcoming players that redshirted last year?

PP: Not sure yet what my plans are for spring ball, but I should have updates on those guys throughout the spring.

FI-UM Fan: Are any of the recruits going to start school early to participate in spring drills?

PP: The only recruits expected to participate in spring drills are Wesley Carroll, Jack Griffin and Thatcher Starling. The other 20 new Panthers begin practice in August.

blkpanther: Is there not a way to finish the bowl before the north side building is constructed in the same way that the field house is being done?

Money PP: The plans are for the north side and the student services center to be done at the same time by 2011-2012. However, money talks and if MLS Miami wants to get that north side enclosed before their opener in 2010, then I'm $$$$ure they can find a way to do it.

FIUFPL: 2) Whatever happened to the "march to the stadium" of the football players+band? I remember you said it couldn't happen until they got a locker room or something.

PP: FIU Fanatic answered question 1 & 3 for you. Here's question 2: The Panther Walk should take place with the first home game this season with team now having a locker room.

FIU0406: I have one question regarding this year's recruting class? How did we fare in comparison to th rest of the sun belt?

PP: It's like reviewing a restaurant: it depends on who you ask. For example, several sites have FIU second among Sun Belt teams and then another (scout.com) has FIU at No. 4 -- guess that site doesn't really know what South Florida high school talent can do for a team. See Hilton, T.Y. We won't really know until about 2 or 3 years from now, but this was definitely FIU's most talented recruiting class in the 7-year history of the program. As far as FIU vs. FAU on this year's recruiting, I have yet to find any site that has the Owls on top of the Panthers.

Now it's your turn to review or predict how FIU hoops will finish and how FIU baseball will do.


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Wow that old sunblazers logo is horrendous lol...

By the way, I have a feeling FIU baseball is gonna be real good this year...Cant wait for the season opener!

26-30 385 Runs...... Of course I would like to see better.

33 - 23, SBC Semifinals, 370 runs


36-20, Regionals, 385 runs

31-25 SBC Semifinals...402 runs

35-21 , Regionals, 408 runs

Hoping for a GREAT SEASON!!!

30-26, SBC Semifinalists, 374 Runs...Please prove me wrong!!

Pete, by the way, can you find out about the 2009 FIU Baseball Media guide online? It's not posted on the fiusports.com site yet.

34 - 22, SuperRegionals, 392 runs

I'm not making any predictions for baseball. I thought TT would do better last year, especially how he was trumpeted by all including Pete. Well, outside of a great victory over Miami, the season was an abject failure last year. So this year I'll sit back and watch.

We need the hoops team to go NO LESS THAN 3-1 in the final four games. The South Alabama game was a tragedy. SR is truly snake-bit this year! I watched that game and after a buzzer beater by one of S. Alabama's worst three point shooters I'm NOW convinced that an exorcism is needed for this year's team!



Turtle did not have a recruiting class year so essentially he was playing with DP's players. I know that is hard for you to admit since you were freinds with him as I still am but it is time to move on. Turtle has already done something DP has never done and that is recruit local players out of HS instead of JC when they had no other place to go. I know some local HS coaches including former players of Dp's who have said Turtle has done more in recruiting in one year locally than DP did in his whole great career.

To go places you've never been before, you have to do things you've never done before...

I also know DP and family. When you're consistently mediocre at FIU under the prior regime, that was considered successful and there was ZERO sense of urgency by anyone in the office of AD to build our athletic teams into premier programs.

I'll say it again. Garcia is not going to WIN any popularity contests, but he will get our programs to be competitive in the Sun Belt and hopefully into a new conference inside of 5 years...

Additionally, I know someone that runs baseball camps and combines in Florida for college/pro scouts, and he's said that Turtle will get FIU into the CWS very soon. Kids want to play for him and those kids are top quality players.

Baseball Record for 2009:
29-27; SBC Semi; 390 runs.

This team has to be over .500 this year and they should be one good recruiting class away from winning the Sunbelt. I can see it now (F.I.U. 2010 Sunbelt Champs!)..

Pete I have one question for you:
Do you know anything about the rebuilding of the new Soccer/Track Stadium? They have been talking about making a new stadidum for both sports for over two years. I thought they were going to start building in 2010??

The team is a little inexperienced this year, but should be pretty good. TT has them pointed correctly and it is a matter of time before they are real good, hopefully it will be sooner than later.
Record 35-21 Regionals 420 Runs

I'll come back with my prediction for baseball, I think they will be over .500, remember in football we went from 1 to 5 after recruiting the right players and getting a new system going, this is TT second year, and he got his players, and the he is building the righ personel for his system. I agree with Gouch next year they will be the Sunbelt champions.

For basketball I'll give my prediction now:
Sunbelt 1 and out, then hopefully PG will hire a real coach.
By the way, you can bring priest, babalus, preachers, exorcist, shamans, gurus, Tim Robins and Dr Phil and that would not change anything on our basketball team untill we get a better coach. Those guys have talent, but they are not well prepare and the play book if there is one doesn't work.


Pete, is Robert Mitchell @ the NFL combines?


35-21, Sun Belt finals, 401 runs

40-16 392 runs

32-24 : 320 runs : Sunbelt champs


Saturday's game versus Swedish side BK Hacken will be played at the Cricket Stadium in Sunrise, with kickoff time moved to 7 pm. South Florida lets show that we support MLS. Go to the game it's free.

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