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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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