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Sloppy Panthers drop rubber match to SLU

Game story from Sunday's 7-1 loss to Southeastern Louisiana:



Those who tuned in for the ESPN webcast of FIU’s series with Southeastern Louisiana probably did so to see offense – particularly the curiosity surrounding Garrett Wittels’ now-defunct hitting streak.

What they got instead was three blowouts and a Golden Panthers defense that looked rustier than a wet bike chain.

FIU committed five errors – including two by Wittels, who did collect his first hit of the season – to drop its Sunday night rubber match with the Lions 7-1.

On the weekend, the Panthers booted the ball 10 times, leaving their pitchers on the hook for nine unearned runs – including five Sunday.

The miscues began early Sunday. For the third straight game, FIU (1-2) couldn’t escape the top of the first inning unscathed.

With two outs and none on, SLU infielder Jonathan Pace grounded to third, but Jeremy Patton’s throw to first was wide, extending the inning.

Up next: Jeff Harkensee, who powered a two-run line-drive home run by to right.

FIU couldn’t answer in the bottom half of the inning, but there was a silver lining: Wittels slapped a single to leftfield. Wittels, who was 0-for-his-first-9, had his Sun Belt-record 56-game hitting streak snapped two nights earlier.

The Panthers got to Lions starter Tyler Watkins once – and that was with an unearned run of their own in the bottom of the fourth.

Pablo Bermudez reached on a two-out throwing error by second baseman Brock Hebert, then scored on a wall-rattling double by Jabari Henry – his first hit of the young season.

But SLU (2-1) got the run right back. Boudreaux led off the top of the fifth inning with a towering home run to left off reliever Logan Dodds. Boudreaux finished the night 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI.

The Lions tacked on four more in the eighth to blow the game open.


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