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LIVE BLOG: FIU vs. Texas A&M -- CG Regional Game 1

Logo Good morning as FIU is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first timeAm since 2002. The Panthers open the Coral Gables Regional against Texas A&M at high noon.

R.J. Fondon toes the slab for FIU and Aggies ace Barret Loux tries to tame the Panthers' hot bats.

The pitching seems to be better on paper in this regional than last week's Sun Belt Conference tournament. So FIU will likely need solid pitching and defense, because this regional may not be about gorilla baseball.

First pitch is at 12:05 p.m. Will be firing up the LIVE BLOG at 11:45 a.m.

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Man, I'm pumped! Bring on the Aggies!

Just got back from the HOT HOT Game.

First of all make sure you DRINK plenty of water if you are going to Sat game! Damn hot out there.

Second, Very disappointed with the effort some of the outfielders put into the game (Center and Right).

Center Field: He showed no effort in chasing a ball that ended up going for a TRIPLE instead of a DOUBLE.

Right Field: Talking to someone in the stands DURING THE GAME!

Pitching: We through in the towel during the 5th inning!

Ref's/Ump: Called a pretty good game overall!

WHITTLE: Got a HUGE scare during his 2nd at bat. Must have cramped up his right calf when he was running towards 1st. Did not look good! He looked in pain for the rest of the game. BUT during his 3rd at bat he hit a ball that flew over the 2nd basemen by 4 inches.. A great double for Whittle..

Texas A&M: What a classy team! The Coaching staff went after Whittle and never thought of pitching around him! When Whittle hit the ball even the Texas fans were up and cheering.. Good class, great team!

FIU Fan: Did NOT disappoint! A GREAT crowed for a Noon game. We should have another BIG crowed for Sat Game!

Me: I took the day off or should I say "Sick-Day" just to watch history happen.. I can't wait till Sat!

Go FIU!

It looks as if Gooch7 forgot to mention what really matters here. Namely, the final score of the Game.

FIU: 3 Texas A&M: 17

Man was it hot today!!! Hope FIU can pull the win tom

Honestly, FIU is playing with house money... Nobody expected this team to make it this far, and now that they are here, nobody expects them to make it out of the Regional, much less a Super Regional or the CWS.

Make no mistake about it, its all about Wittel's streak, and the team hopefully giving him one more day after Saturday to catch Ventura.

That's the reason why the CG regional is on ESPN, that's the reason why there was 2,000 people out there at noon on a Friday in an infernal sun, that's the reason why GW was the lead story on SportsCenter. The score at the end of the day doesn't matter, all that matters is that GW gets a hit.

We're watching history unfold here folks, it was the Baseball Gods that lifted that ball 2 inches above that 2nd baseman... Hopefully the Baseball Gods will shine on the whole FIU team so GW gets another day to continue his march through the record books.

And if the Baseball Gods aren't kind, there's always this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNMQeoS5Jo8

and let's see if we can see a little bit of coaching on the works on tomorrow's game.....

and a little bit of more intelligent coaching will also help.......

A little bit of intelligent posting will also help Mr. ??????

What did you want Turtle to do? Tell the pitchers to "Throw more strikes"? Tell the hitters to "hit better"? A&M was hitting the snot out of the ball and that pitcher was nasty, the game got out of hand early, to TT did what any smart manager does in that situation in a double-elimination tourney: Go to the bottom of the bullpen and save your good pitchers for the elimination game (or games) that you'll have to play.

If you suffer from short-term memory, this is EXACTLY what happened in Murfesboro last weekend. FIU got roughed up the first game, and then won 5 in a row to win the SBC. Now, Miami and Texas A&M are not FAU or Troy, but I can see FIU beating Darthmouth tomorrow, survive till Sunday and (if the Baseball God or Jobu are smiling) give either UM or The Aggies a fight on Sunday Morning.

Great post, FIUloyal. Completely agree.

Ok, since I am not as smart as you two, please explain to me the pitching rotation that went on today?? Aren't you suppose to worry about winning today's game and forgetting about tomorrow's??? We are at Regionals....I am sorry but I am bit dumb.

Well, I suppose you are also talking about me. Let me give you, respectfully, my thoughts. When the game is already 10-1, after starting with our #1 pitcher, and bringing in our #4 starter (DeSimone), chances are this team is going to lose this game. This becomes even more possible when you are facing one of the nation's best ERA and All American pitchers in the nation, with perhaps the best or second best closer as well.

At this time, you hope to come back, but at the same time, you save your best pitchers to win Game 2 first, and if possible Game 3. To "burn" your best pitchers available when you are down by 10-12 runs in the 6th inning on is plain dumb, in my opinion. I totally, unequivocably agree witht the way pitchers were used after we were down by that much. Not much you can do but save the rest of the best pitchers until tomorrow and beyond.

Good post Fanatic! Absolutely agree with TT's strategy there...at some point you have to admit defeat against a powerhouse and start thinking about tomorrow's game.

Keep those arms fresh because we're going to need them. Hopefully the bats wake up and we can get the W tomorrow!

????????????, please dont post that dumbness on here anymore. That is just wasting space on this blog. Obviously you have no clue about coaching, much less coaching in the Regionals.

Yeah, wouldve been super smart to throw all of our guys out there today since Loux was giving up so many runs and we were only down 9. Who cares about the other games... Its called DOUBLE ELIMINATION for a reason buddy.

You don't get it, right? FIU will loose tomorrow with Dartmouth.

FIUloyal and other FIUkies, this is about winning. Please spare us from all this GW streak crap.

Finally got to see an FIU baseball game this year. It was nice to see from up here in NC, even if it was on the TV. The following is my .02.

- I like TT's comment in the game story that he was surprised FIU came out tight. I was a little surprised, too. Like FIUloyal said, it's house money right now for the GP's. No one expects them to do anything. From what I saw on TV, the most relaxed FIU'er was Wittels, and that's saying a hell of a lot considering he's the guy with ESPN all over his jock.

- With that said, I'm pretty sure I know why they came out tight. FIU's monkey vs. Miami is like Fidel's shadow over Cuba... way too big to be ignored. Yeah, I know they played TAMU, but don't kid yourself. Everyone in Miami (and that includes the faithful) is judging this team vs. Miami, not anyone else, and those kids knew it. Which is understandable. It's hard to escape a shadow that big, especially when you're playing for your lives in Miami's ballpark. But FIU has seriously got to just play their game and forget where they're at and who they might be playing against.

There's a reason the only regional FIU's ever won came at Notre Dame... and it's because they didn't have to worry about Miami and what everyone here thought; they could just do their thing. I sure hope TT can find a way to get this program over that Miami hump, because FIU ain't winning jack until they do. That's the real barrier they've got to crack.

- As for the pitching... God, these arms have been unbelievably bad, especially lately. I seriously think it's time that TT invest in a real pitching coach come off-season. Nothing against Sean Allen, but let's get someone in here with actual experience in running a staff. FIU hasn't had a decent one - or any one, actually - since Mark Calvi (the biggest mistake Price made, I think).

I understand it's college baseball, but you gotta have SOME pitching. You can't put up 10+ runs every single game. I sure hope TT can work his recruiting magic there come the off-season; he desperately needs it.

- As for the arms strategy... I don't mind what TT did late in the game, especially when it got to 8-1. It's a double-elimination tourney. There's no reason to blow your best arms in a meaningless game. What I do mind is why he pulled Fondon. He wasn't doing that bad; he got victimized by his defense. FIU's pen has been downright awful, especially lately. You might as well keep Fondon out there; he can't do any worse. If you're going to get smoked by 14 runs, might as well save the rest of your arms... and, maybe, if you leave him in, Fondon can find a way to pull out of the funk he's in and start pitching well again. FIU needs the starters to start pitching well, or else this regional won't last past the 3rd game. Or maybe even the 2nd. The pen is not going to get it done. At least give the starters the chance to dig out of their own messes.

FIU should beat Dartmouth tomorrow... and here's hoping we get Miami in the loser's bracket. No better way to beat the monkey than by ending their season on home soil. :)

Good post Clawing, and good to have you "back". You never know, maybe the fact RJ was pulled so early could become a blessing in disguise for the team, since he didn't pitch much, so he could still give some more innings the rest of the tournament.

As for today, let's go there and play tough FIU!!

Here is the problem with the pitching in a nutshell. It's not the pitchers! They don't have a coach who knows what he's doing. He's calling bad pitches. He has no idea how to help his pitchers. For the life of me, I don't understand why Turtle doesn't see this. (Everyone else does). Don't get me wrong, Sean Allen is a good guy. He's a good fielding/hitting coach but NOT a pitching coach.
In the game yesterday, first, they should've started Rembisz. You gotta win this game to get to the next. They should've put Berko in instead of Garcia. After all, Berko was the first guy out of the pen reliever at the beginning of the season. He was always good for 3-4 innings. That's where he shines. It wasn't until Garcia got hurt that Berko became the closer. RJ's arm is dead!!! He has pitched almost 100 innings this season. Give the kid a break! Vasquez should've been used more. Marban was either great or not. Next year, they will have Justin Leith and Mason McVay back so that will help. But, bottom line is the kids did great this season. They WON THE SUNBELT CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!! Congrats to FIU baseball.

xyz, my thoughts exactly!

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