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3 Days Til Opening Night

A few more intrasquad tidbits to pass along as the Panthers prepare for their baseball season opener against Maryland on Friday at 7 p.m. at FIU.

Here are some highlights from 3 innings of a recent intrasquad game.

1st Inning

Junior right-hander Daniel DeSimone started and after Lammar Guy led off with a bunt single, DD pickedBerm him off at first.

Outside of another single, this one by freshman All-American Mike Martinez to right field, DD escaped his first inning of work unscathed.

The bottom of the first brought the first look at new pitcher/3B Dillon Vitale, a freshman from Punta Gorda. DV made one mistake in his inning when Pablo Bermudez's smooth swing on an outside pitch ended up in the preserve for a solo shot. Bermudez (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) is part of that emerging Miami Springs to FIU pipeline.

DV walked freshman slugging 1B Rudy Flores, but got new RF Yoandy Barroso to fly out to right to end the inning.

2nd Inning

DeSimone came out for a second inning of work and got touched up for a run by a couple of newcomers.

Catcher Jose Behar, a Miami Dade College transfer, who apparently knows how to hit, fell behind 0-2 in the count. So Behar (left) shortened his stroke and slapped a single up the middle into center. The nice piece of Behar hitting got a "good AB" from coach Turtle Thomas coaching at 3B.

Heralded freshman Jabari Henry, who has a similar smooth swing to Bermudez, went opposite field for a single which moved Behar to 3B.

DD got Michael Vargas to bounce into a DP scoring Behar. Vitale, who also hit, flied out to center to end the inning.

The bottom of the 2nd brought to the mound walk-on senior right-hander Jose Velazquez.

Velazquez, a sidearmer, tried out for the team last fall and made the squad.

Sophomore catcher Doug Joyce singled to right to lead off the inning. I'm noticing a lot of players are catching on to Turtle's preaching of taking an outside pitch to the opposite field. Instead of trying to pull it and hitting a weak grounder to shortstop.

Velazquez got himself into a jam by hitting catcher Sean Reilly with a pitch and walking Raiko Alfonso to load the bases.

But maybe this is why the FIU coaches brought Velazquez back after the tryout. The righty struck out Flores, who by the way looks like a guy who can hit 20 HRs. In fact, with his natural opposite field stroke, Flores reminds a little of Tyler Townsend.

Barroso then grounded out to 3B to end the inning with no runs across. Garrett Wittels, who will play infield and be one of FIU's closers out of the pen, made a nice play on a short hop of Barroso's grounder.

3rd Inning

Eric Berkowitz (right, thanks AJH photo) pitched the top of the 3rd inning and allowed 0 runs after a leadoff single.Berko

Guy reached on an infield single in the 5.5 hole that shortstop Junior Arrojo had no play on. But Guy got caught stealing by Joyce.

EB's inning ended when Arrojo made a nice play on a tough hop off the bat of Martinez.

Andre Vazquez took the mound in the bottom of the third inning.

Bermudez continued his good work at the plate lining an opposite field single to right. He would come around to score when the left-handed hitting Flores laced a single to the opposite field in left center.

Vazquez would get out of the inning allowing just one run.


Aaapaw Will have a Happy Blog Hour 2-for-1 special in LIVE BLOGS this week. Log on to the GPP on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7:54 p.m. for a LIVE BASKETBALL BLOG of FIU/Hooters basketball when the Hooters from Del Boca Vista Phase 2 visit the Bank for game two of the Pat Riley Classic this season.

Then log on to the GPP the next night, Feb. 19 at 6:56 p.m. for a LIVE BASEBALL BLOG of FIU's season opener against Maryland.

Aaapaw Nothing to that report of Ken Dorsey coming to coach at FIU. If he does come to FIU it won't be for a  coaching position.


SouthPaw: Hey, Pete, can you give us any updates on who FIU is offering preferred walk-on status for Spring camp?

PP: Will know more when we get closer to spring practice. The walk-on program has produced some pretty good players. With last year, defensive lineman Andrew Mattox (Osceola Defensive Player of theRb Year) and before that O'Darris D'Haiti among the more productive walk-ons.

Aaapaw Most of you -- like Ricky Bobby's dad (Reese Bobby) -- believe "if you ain't first, you're last". So most of you believe FIU will finish 1st in the Sun Belt this season with 63% of you voting the Panthers in 1st place on the last poll question.

FIU starts its 54-game regular season schedule on Friday. Vote and tell us how many games the Panthers will win this season?


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2010 Numbers are Out. This department better start producing wins (and I'm talking vs. the SBC not the SEC) or they need to get out (yes I'm talking to you MC)

96.) Florida International $21,270,045
97.) Western Kentucky $21,002,792
108.) Middle Tennessee State $17,204,861
109.) North Texas $16,621,986
113.) Florida Atlantic $14,863,017
114.) Troy State $14,389,423
116.) Louisiana-Lafayette $12,122,861
117.) Arkansas State $10,745,253
118.) Louisiana-Monroe $7,907,960

P.S. FIU's revenue and expenses are higher than Boise State (talk about getting some bang for your buck)

Although I enjoy baseball and wish Turtle a great season and hopefully a regionals berth....Is it football season yet ?


There are TWO seasons in Miami... Football and Baseball!

FIUPantherFan, FIU's revenue being higher then Boise St is not a bad thing (i that was written correctly). Our expenses is a different story.


LOL @ nacatamales

Are those numbers the profit or cost of the department?

I have the same question as Mr. FIU FPL. Do the numbers correspond to net profits, expenses, revenue?


Check it out....go to "Get Data for One Institution" on the right hand side.


FIU would have greater revenues if fritanga was sold inside the baseball and football stadiums... carne asada...queso friot. mmmmmm

Hey FIU fans, I found a couple cassettes with an old FIU/Seton Hall game from Feb. 16, 1986 that my grandmother in New Jersey recorded since my father (Freddy Pineda) was playing for FIU at the time. I thought you guys would like to hear it, I've split it into the four sides of the tapes. The game begins at the bottom of the 1st with two outs, and it is a GOOD game.


Better food does sound appealing, but the cost of those types of food is a little more than hot dogs and burgers. So FIU would either have to put a huge mark up on it or lose money.

Im getting hungry... I'm thinking of a hot dog.

THats the budget for athletic departments at those schools and yes its CRAZZZZY. Its the one thing that turns from a Sympathetic and Patient Alumni into Mad as heck alumni, thats a lot of money to be below mediocre for so long.

THanks for the historic FIU recording Wes, that was very cool to listen to.

Put me into the over it category. I'm over Don Strock, I'm over injuries, I'm over youth, I'm over scholarship restrictions, etc. In year 4, those are excuses. Give me some results (W/L's) beat the team that spends almost 1/3 of your budget in the SBC. Pete, did you ever find out what AD Garcia is expecting from the football team (is he going to go on the limb like the UNT AD) or is he still out of town?

When does Spring Practice start. The Wesley Carroll era should be starting soon.

After 3 or 4 years at the helm any coach should start feeling the pressure of Win or Out.. I think our coaches in Baseball/Basketball/Football are extremly good but the bar needs to be High for FIU athletics in the next 2 or 3 years..

My opinion of where the "Bar" should be placed (realistic):

Entire 2010 team will be recruited by MC and company. Schedule has been done by MC and company. No more NCAA penalties starting 2011.
7-6 record and our first bowl game. Win at the bowl game is just extra points..

75% of the team has been recruited by Turtle. Schedule is done by Turtle. No NCAA penalties (thank God).
34-20 record and a trip to the Finals in the Sunbelt. That should make Regionals. He needs to finish 1st or 2nd on the Belt to have a "successful" season.. He will win it hands down in 2011!

IT has the most rope to streth since he currently has NOTHING! The team will be drastically better next year but most likley not good enough for teams like Western.
Should win the Sunbelt in 2012 and make the Big Dance.. Expect imporvement in 2011 but nothing to brag about..



Zeke has much better talent than people realize coming in next year. Our own mini version of the Fab 5 Freshman, plus Alex Legion from the Illini and the kid from Arkansas. Roberts, Gary and Weaver will be role players off the bench. Ferguson, Taylor and Pack are all kids that can go for 20 pts a night...I think we'll win 20 games and win the SBC next year.

I agree with what Gooch7 wrote. I think 2011 will be our break out year. No more restrictions on the football team, one of the top ten classes in the country coming in for the baseball team, and two years of recruiting for Isiah. We should make a real splash in 2011, but it is contingent on us showing real improvement in 2010. We need to go 6-6 or 7-5 in football, we need a top three finish in baseball, and we need Isiah to have a season similar to Jarvis up at FAU.

PIKE, you think Marvin comes off the bench next year? I think he's the only starter from this year that will keep his job. I think the lineup will look something like this:

G: Taylor, P
G: Pack, R
G: Wright, D
F: Roberts, M
F: Ferguson, D

It'd be nice to have a true center. If not, you may see them go with three forwards and two guards by rotating Pack & Wright at the 2 guard and playing Nikola or Frederic as the third Forward.

Any thoughts guys?

Making a bowl game in football in 2010 will be very difficult. It will likely require finishing in the top 2 in the Sun Belt since the Belt only has 2 bowl tie-ins. I dont forsee FIU being a top 2 Sun Belt team next year, not with Middle Tennessee and Troy looking so good. And this is all contingent on FIU finishing the regular season with a minimum record of 6-6, another feat that will be very difficult to accomplish.

I think the most likely scenario in 2010 is a 5-7 season with an outside chance for 6-6. But even with 6-6 i dont think FIU get to a bowl game.

I think, at this stage, very closely resembling what Jimmy feels as to how we will do in Football for the 2010 season.

As for basketball next season, don't forget about Sophomore transfer from Highland CC, 6-7 Eric Frederick, who was a 3rd team JUCO All American as a Freshman. Also, Alex Legion, while he has been a disappointment in his college career, and from all accounts is a poor defender, does bring a lot of talent/strength and big time experience to the wing g/f position.

...and don't forget about Central Michigan transfer Jeremy Allen, a 6-3/190 guard that comes to and is currently sitting out at FIU after averaging 7.2 pts as a freshman (MAC 1st Team All Freshman team), and 8.6 pts. as a sophomore over at CMU, after an All State Senior season in Michigan hoops. Also sitting out is 6-8/210 PF transfer from Arkansas, Brandon Moore...who got just sporadic playing time for the hogs, but was also fairly highly recruited as a high school player out of New Orleans.

Gosh...as I write this, I see how deep and talented, this FIU team will be next season..if all the players signed/sitting out actually get to play for FIU next season. However, I suspect that, once again, chemistry will be an issue, especially at the beginnig of the season.

Operating Budgets correlate pretty closely with cost of living- Boise, ID and Miami, FL is a pretty big contrast. Dont know how telling those numbers really are but I do agree- its go time! Let's see what FIU does these next few months- Im excited for baseball and Spring football! Go FIU!!!!!

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