FORT MYERS -- The FIU/FAU Marlins tour continues for another couple of days before it's back to FIU baseball on Tuesday for their home game against North Florida and then FIU football when it resumes after next week's spring break.
The reason this has been dubbed the FIU/FAU Marlins tour is because both myself and Sun Sentinel FAU writer Ted Hutton are covering the Marlins these 5 days while the regular Marlins writers are at the World Baseball Classic. Was with the Marlins today in Fort Myers against the Twins at Hammond Stadium, which is one of if not the nicest spring training parks. Former FIU left-hander and current Marlins reliever Willie Collazo was here, but did not get in the game -- a 9-5 Marlins win.
Not much on the FIU news front with football on spring break and the baseball team in Arkansas. But here are some FIU items you might have missed:
As of this blog post, the FIU baseball team crushed Arkansas-Little Rock 24-5 in the first game of a Saturday night doubleheader. Dustin Rivest or Jack Griffin kicked a field goal in the ninth inning for the final FIU score.
FIU would like to at least take 2 of 3 in the series and continue their steady start to the season. FIU aces Scott Rembisz and Tom Ebert (right, thanks Victoria Lynch photo) are throwing tonight with Rembisz already securing a win.
UALR is supposed to have one of the better pitching staffs in the Sun Belt, but apparently not in game 1.
In case, you missed it in Wednesday's Herald, here's a story about T.Y. Hilton's visit to a childhood friend at Miami Children's Hospital....
Five years ago, Reynaldo Pringle sustained a broken head and left knee, and had the right side of his body partially paralyzed when he was struck by a truck that ran a red light in his South Miami neighborhood.
Nearly two weeks ago, Pringle, now 20, walked for the first time since the accident.
On Wednesday morning at Miami Children's Hospital, Pringle got to meet one of his favorite football players, FIU freshman All-American T.Y. Hilton.
Pringle had not seen Hilton since they played against each other in Pop Warner more than eight years ago, but had followed Hilton's football exploits since then.
He had an unusual first question for Hilton.
“This really brings my spirits up,” Pringle said to Hilton. “You're good. Tell me, why is Miami scared to play you guys?”
Hilton smiled and offered encouragement to Pringle, and gave him an FIU cap, shirt and photo of Hilton's first college touchdown at Kansas. (Reynaldo and T.Y. photo, left taken by Susan Frantz of fiusports.com)
“It means a lot to me that I could come here and talk to him to help him fight through this,” Hilton said. “I hope that I could give him an extra push to take that extra step.”
Pringle is part of the Project Victory program at the hospital, which helps special-education students with the opportunity to learn job skills in a work-setting environment.
-- PETE PELEGRIN AND J.T. WILCOX
FIUsports.com plans to launch its new website on Monday with expanded video, bigger photos, including a store to buy FIU game photos, more FIU stories and interactive features for fans.
Will be driving across the state to Jupiter on Sunday morning for the Mets vs. Marlins game in Jupiter.
The tour ends Monday and will be back in Miami on Tuesday for the FIU game vs. North Florida.
Don't really care if some of you want to keep arguing about who has the better cafeteria food between schools or how many years you have to be at a school to be able to cheer for them -- when the hell did the GPP turn into a bad cell phone commercial? (photo, right)
Other schools fans come on here, because they're interested in FIU, although they may not clearly state it in their posts.
If you can't keep it clean, then the Panther Claw will come out for your post. Thank you. Now back to your regularly scheduled FIU sports blogging.
Fomenter: Question regarding Wayne Times. Is he slated to come in and help out at corner?
PP: There are no plans for WT (left) to play corner. WT will play receiver and might be seen at QB in a WildPanther formation. No DB for WT.
PP: No changes expected for FIU hoops. SR could have 3 with AG, RH and Badu N'Diaye graduated.
FIUFPL: Pete, Any word on how losing MLS has affected timeframe for stadium construction, if at all? Also, you mentioned some post back that some USF players may be transferring to FIU. Any news on this?
PP: Nothing definitive, but looking like the 2011-2013 time frame, could have been a little quicker with MLS. Nothing new on USF players.