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Scrimmage Saturday; Baseball Stadium's New Look

Got some highlights from the last couple of days of spring practice since your Panthers returned from spring break, but first a couple of notes for you:

Apaw  The second scrimmage of the spring takes place this Saturday at 3 p.m. at FIU Stadium.

Apaw Say goodbye to the "thundercats" logo and the old colors at University Park Stadium (photo, right).Stadium   Thanks to FIU mayor and stadium painting artist Nelson Bradford and Newport Construction, the stadium looks like new. Go to a game this weekend to see it. The new FIU logo will be on the front of the stadium soon.

Apaw Parking could be tough for next Friday's 6 p.m. FIU Spring Game, because of the Youth Fair, so FIU Athletics sent me the following e-mail to help you good people out with parking:

Due to the Youth Fair, parking will be limited at Tamiami Park for fans attending the FIU Football Spring Game on Friday, April 3rd.  FIU Athletics and Stadium Management encourage fans to park on campus upon arrival.  Fans are encouraged to park in lot 7, the CSC lot or in the Panther Parking Garage.  Game time is 6:00pm and FIU Stadium will open its doors at 4:30pm..  Fans must enter through gate 8 and 10 for admission and will be directed to the south side for seating. 

Apaw On to the highlights from the past two days of practice....

You know who is really developing into a solid receiver and put on some serious weight from last season is Junior Mertile (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo). Standing on the sideline, like I normally do for practices, you get a good appreciation for JM's hands and his speed.

Mert JM hooked up with Wesley Carroll on a long pass and the duo could have had two more long completions, if not for nice D by Peter Riley. On the other pass, WC threw a bit too long.

Aaron Davis keeps tearing it up, getting into the backfield to make tackles and getting a couple more sacks the last few days.

Senior WR Reggie Thompson made a couple of juggling catches in traffic and broke one of them for a long gain.

Anthony Gaitor made a slick interception during 7-on-7s. So what's new there? 

Greg Ellingson (right, AJH photo) made a diving catch in the end zone on a 55-yard bomb from Wayne Younger. GE laid Ellingson out full body extension to get past the DB and land in the end zone.

GE was also part of another nifty play where he caught with his fingertips a beautiful touch pass from WC. Another example of the sound fundamentals WC has with the way he just placed the pass out of the DB's reach where only GE could catch it.

Riley also got a tricky INT in traffic during team drills. In an area, where someone is going to get popped, because there were 4 players involved in the play, PR went in there and snatched the ball.

John Ellis, who Paul McCall calls "the secret weapon", knows how to play football. JE made a one-handed catch with his left hand over the middle and managed to pick up another 8 to 10 yards on the play. This dude is a load to bring down and would not surprise to see him get some more touches this Oso season.

El Oso (left, AJH photo) read the QB's eyes on a play, picked off the pass and outran the offense for a touchdown while MC signaled TD with his arms up in the air. On the way back to the defensive huddle, El Oso got a high-5 from the FIU coach.

Jonathan Faucher should also have a big season. He made a couple more nice catches the past two days.


FIU-Fiji-Drew: What are the statuses of the current FIU alums playing at the professional level? (Carlos Arroyo, Raja Bell, Antwan Barnes, Mike Lowell, etc.)

PP: Arroyo is playing professionally in Israel. Bell got traded earlier this season from the Phoenix Suns to the Charlotte Bobcats. Barnes is recovering from an injury and is expected to be ready for Ravens training camp in July. Lowell is playing 3B for the Red Sox.

FIU Beijinger: Hey Pete, You forgot Beijing, China on your readership scorecard! Go Panthers!

PP: Not anymore. We got you down. Thanks for your readership.



30 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela, Vietnam.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.



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Looking forward to walking into the new looking stadium tonight when FIU hosts the ragin cajuns of Louisiana


For all who cannot be in attendance at the spring game and we know that there are 30 countries and 44 states that follow GPP, can we do a live blog?

Also, Pete

What is K.Willis weight right now? how much weight has he put on? From one of the CBS4 videos he looks a lot bigger.

Question Pete....why hasn't a Spring Prospectus file..and/or Spring Roster file...hasn't been released by FIU Athletics website like in years' past? It would be nice if they do it, once again.

Im a little upset with the fiu fans. Can you people show up to the damn baseball games and support? today, although extremely scary, turned out to be a very exciting game... Tomorrow Ebert pitches, carrying the best ERA in conference and one of the top ERAs in the nation. THis is big conference games people, come out and show ur face. Bring a flask, games are cheap, if you show up a little later there even free, bring whatever... Just be there

I hear you franky, I hear you... Game was really exciting yesterday, and games like this need fan support. It was better than last weekend, but we still need to put more butts in the seats.

Franky, Amen. We'll be there tonight, maybe a little late but we'll be there. This is the best baseball team we've had in a while, go out there and watch the games!

I think its lame they took down the old logo. I mean, theres no harm in leaving past identities around because its our history. But of course, its FIU: the school that bucks tradition with each new athletic director.

I think it was about time. Time to move forward, create new traditions for a new winning attitude and direction that the school is taking. We NEED to let go of whatever our past was. We are not a school that can look back to much, we are a future-minded athletic program making our own footprints. Before, there was no stability, no direction. Now there is and I think the current logo and trends are here to say. Can't wait to see the new logo on that stadium!

Pete Garcia has done wonders, taking a football program in shambles and turning them into a formidable team. Our baseball team might make a postseason run like we haven't seen since 2002.

Our history starts now!

Its looks bush-league to have different logos and shades of of blue and gold all over campus. About time someone got everyone on the same page.

Hey, did anyone go to the scrimmage game today? Just wanted to know how it went and get some of your opinions on what happened, i would appreciate it....

I went to scrimmage, offense at times look sluggish. Many drop passes and fumbles. Some of that can be credited to the defense having a great day.

Don't get me wrong there were some good drives by offense. McCall didn't have a great day, but really none of the QB's stood out. There was a play that stood out...Wesley connected with Jason Frierson for a long TD(must have been over 50 yards). Darriet Perry had a great day but he was limited in scrimmage. We can't afford him to get hurt.

As for the defense, I think Pete will agree with me...Aaron Davis was a beast!!! He was all over the field making plays. I think he has starting MLB position locked up. Seemed like defensive line was putting pressure all day to QB's. As for secondary, they had numerous interceptions. I can remember Gaitor and Dez Johnson make picks. I know there were more but sorry I can't recall who made it.

Looking forward to what Pete has to write.

Unfortunately couldn't make it to baseball game today but I'll be there tomorrow.


FIU leading 11-7 in bottom of 8th...hope we don't make it as interesting as last night, and close out the game with a win..

No last-minute breakdown tonight! Great 11-7 victory! Only wish I could have made it out today... but this is great stuff! Tomorrow we go for the sweep and then on to Jacksonville for an important series to keep us sharp for WKU!!

I'll second one FIUJM had to say. The offense looked sluggish at times. 26 had a few nice moves, including one first down run that saw him flatten a DB before going out of bounds. It usually takes the offense a little longer to build cohesion than the D. The defense is looking strong, and should become even stronger as our new recruits come in.

There were some recruits there today, as well as the recently signed Mr. Laporte. There were also a collection of high school coaches checking out the team and talking to our coaching staff. I think in all there were about 10 or 12 prospective recruits out there for the 2010 recruiting class.

By the way, not sure if it has been pointed out, but Ramirez was first team all county for Broward on defense. He also runs the 100 meter in 12.07, and does 5'8" on the high jump. Decent combination of size and speed, with some other important attributes added in as evidenced by his competitions in the long and triple jump.

JulesFIU07 that was a great move by Ramirez and he sure punished the DB on a run. He came out though after a fumble and never returned to the scrimmage, hope he's ok.


FIUJM, I think he is fine, he didn't look hurt. I find it interesting that he is trying out as a RB after having played as a UTL defensive player in high school, but he looks to have the makings of a solid RB.

I was at the baseball game and this team is more talented, but there are still problems and those problems will not let you win tournaments or regionals. The fielding is HORRIBLE, the errors are unacceptable. The catcher (I know names but I'm not going to go directly) is not so much a catcher as he is a blocker and sometimes he doesn't even do that. He doesn't catch the ball cleanly which means that he can't get rid of it cleanly. The center fielder has no arm, it might be a water gun, though errors all night by all the infielders. Those errors can be overcomed with torrid hitting against a team with no pitchers. But pitching will ALWAYS overcome hitting and most teams at regionals have good pitchers. Turtle better get these boys working on the field or it's going to be a short trip to the post season.

Pete, great news on LaPorte. He looks like a guy who will have an immediate impact. Can you give us an update on any remaining scholarships for this season? Last update I saw, there were between 1 and 3 left to give. Will there be any more before the deadline (which I thought was April 1st)?

ULL is leading 8-4 in the top of the 7th and still threatening... our bullpen needs to get better because this is ridiculous...

FIU loses 11-4....One thing that NEEDS to improve is our bullpen pitching...I mean, it was 4-3 FIU up in the 7th inning with Polizzano on top..he gave up a double to start the 7th..was pulled out...and UL scored their remaining 8 runs in that 7th inning....Oh well...that area needs to be worked on so that we can close out some extra wins...

Glad to here the the Panthers had a good scrimmage game Sat. Looking foward to coming down to the spring game this Friday!!!! Finally get a chance to see #86 play...hopefully lol GO FIU!!

Yeah i saw Laporte on tuesday... the dude is huge! He looked older than a college player. My friend and I thought he was some former player. But the guy is jacked.

Hey Pete,
Whats it going to take to get the baseball team ranked this season?

We used to get on there pretty regularly... are we off the radar now?

OC Panther, good point. We have yet to lose a series, have been beating conference teams, and have beat some solid, albeit underrated, non-conference teams. I don't know why we aren't ranked somewhere.

WKU and Middle Tenn St. Univ arent even ranked and just barely receiving votes and those teams are killing people (with MTSU having a very solid record at 20-4). If those guys arent ranked, dont expect to see us in there either. Hopefully MTSU gets in there this week and WKU gets a few more votes. That way, if we can keep on winning atleast the series (2 out of 3 games) over the next 2 weekends, then i believe we should be in there(if not, atleast receiving some votes).

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