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Predict the Last 18

Several of you have been making projections on how FIU baseball will finish the rest of the way. Here's where FIU baseball stood one year ago today: 23-14 overall record and 10-8 in the Sun Belt. The reason FIU had played 18 conference games to this point last year is because the Panthers had yet to take their conferenceRemb bye weekend.

If you compare last year's mark at this point to this year's you'll see that FIU is pretty much in the same position. Currently, the Panthers are 22-14 and 9-6 in conference. In 2009, the Panthers started Sun Belt play 9-6 as well.

Considering, that to start 2010 FIU lost its top pitcher from last season and it's projected No. 2 or 3 starting pitchers, you could say the Panthers have played pretty consistent to last season especially with an undermanned pitching staff this season. Granted with a couple more pitchers stepping up, FIU could easily be 11-4 right now in SBC play, but that's not the case.

Regardless, the starting rotation for the most part has been steady with Scott Rembisz (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo), R.J. Fondon and Aaron Arboleya. With his effective midweek starts, Daniel DeSimone has helped keep the FIU bullpen ready for weekend series.

After the 9-6 Sun Belt start in 2009, FIU went 9-6 the rest of the way to finish 18-12 and 4th in the SBC heading into the conference tourney. Of course, we all know what happened in Troy, but that's another story for another day when the Panthers reach Murfreesboro in late May.

Yes, you read "reach Murfreesboro in late May" in the previous sentence. Another 9-6 finish will most likely get FIU a similar standing considering that 4 of the Panthers last 5 series of the season are against teams (Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, South Alabama, Florida Atlantic) currently ahead of them in the standings. SBC standings

However, I'm thinking more like FIU will go 8-7 or 7-8 in SBC play the rest of the way and with taking 2 of 3 from Jacksonville and Bethune Cookman in the three remaining non-conference games you're looking at a 32-22 or 31-23 regular season for the Panthers and anywhere from 5th to 7th place in the SBC. Of course, any key injuries could change this type of regular season ending.

Sure, anything better than 9-6 will likely vault FIU into the top 3 of the conference, but considering the remaining opponents and the Panthers lack of pitching depth I think anything better than 9-6 might be a stretch.

Entering this weekend's 3-game series with Western Kentucky, the Panthers are tied for 5th with the Hilltoppers in the SBC standings. FIU has a 4-game lead and series win on 8th place Troy and is 5 games ahead of UALR and ULM.

Your turn now to chime in on how FIU will finish the season?

Fiu PANTHER PAWSE

Apaw Was expecting to have another FIU hoop recruit to tell you about, but the confirmation has not come in yet. This would be in addition to the latest offer made to Michigan prep point guard A.J. Mathew, who would be for 2011. When I have another recruit to tell you about,Ruwi you will have it.

Apaw In our last poll question, we reached a new part of the world on the GPP as a reader from Ruwi, Oman (in southeast Asia -- if you didn't know where that was, don't feel bad neither did I. Had to google it.) Anyways our newest friend from Oman thinks FIU baseball should have 20+ wins by now. Agreed. Vote in the latest GPP poll question below the scorecard.

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The pitching needs to improve. Thats it. Our guys are hitting, for the most part, but when we have to overcome 6 or 8 run deficits its not easy.

I hope FIU has good weekend. Watching the Marlins bullpen disintegrate night after night is getting frustrating...

Im PUMPED for this weekend. I hope the team sacks up and has fun and plays hard the whole weekend coming away with at least 2 W's. That will get us going to close out the season on a high note.

Hitting was 9th in the nation before the last few games, they've kind of slowed down lately. Hopefully both hitting and pitching click and we start to tear $h!t up in these last 5 weeks!!!

we dont have dominant pitching this season and that will hurt us the rest of the season. but iam confident that we can keep up with the rest of the SB opponents. 7-8 the rest of the season..

Being that right now we are almost exactly where we were last year at this point is pretty good. We definitely played a tougher non-conference schedule this year and the SunBelt is 100% better and more competitive then it was last year... The SunBelt has a chance of getting 3 teams into a regional this year, especially because our conference RPI is 5th right now.

Stinks that both the Fish and FIU have bullpen issues. That being said, I think FIU goes 11-7.

Where are the FIU fans who were 100% positive that FIU baseball was winning 40 games this year?

You know who you are.

Its still statistically possible.

I have complete faith in our bullpen. The problem is that most of them are never used. Berkowitz has kept them afloat for the most part. Let's hope our starters stay healthy and the hitting continues. Go Panthers!

The one's that are rarely used, are almost pretty much confirmed Liabilities. If they wish to play more, they need to step it up and throw more strikes, get more outs, and give up less runs... Its that easy!

any word if any of our seniors will get some free agent looks after the draft? maybe weatherspoon?

You have to remember CC that FIU once played over 60 games a season, so going 40-22 or something was not beyond the realm of possibility. Esp. when you loaded up the first half of the season with the New York Tech's and Fordham's of the world.

This year FIU opened with sweeps of ACC Maryland and perinial Regional Qualifier Oral Roberts. Then went on the road to play in the Coca-Cola classic with Arizona St., OR St., Cal Poly, etc. Then you have the #5 ranked Sun Belt conference schedule where the top 7 teams are within 3 games of first place.

So to get to 40 wins, when you're only playing 54 games, with this schedule is going to take a bit of luck (i.e. no injuries, winning more 1 run games). I'm still thinking this conference gets 3 maybe 4 bids to the regionals.

Jeremiah could sneak into the 6th round according to people I know that rep Anthony Davis OT from Rutgers that went 11th overall last night.

Good luck to JSpoon !!!!

I voted for 9-6, keeping my fingers crossed!

I dont recall to many people saying FIU is going to win 40 games.. I did say they were going to win 35 games and I will admit that right now that looks harder then I originally thought. But I also think they can make the Semi's of the Sunbelt.. I think anything less then the Semi's will be a disappointing season. I realize there is issues with pitching, but FIU and Turtle should always think Semi's or better.. We will know in about a month..

Go Golden Panthers!

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