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Baseball Stuff Like That; Donald in the Middle

A few things before I scratch out 15 inches for Wednesday's paper on FIU baseball headed for the Conference USA tournament...

Give it up to junior catcher/first baseman Aramis Garcia and senior closer Mike Gomez, members of the Conference USA's Baseball All-Academic Team. No other school put more than one player on the team. Both are sports and fitness majors. Gomez has a 3.79 grade point average and Garcia has a 3.78.

FIU plans to have Garcia behind the plate Wednesday against Rice. He missed 12 games with a right oblique injury and returned to play first base at the end of the season-closing series at Tulane.

At the other end of the battery, FIU plans to throw freshman Chris Mourelle at Rice, according to Turtle Thomas. They didn't throw Mourelle last week against Tulane once the staff felt the chance for an at-large NCAA bid was gone and don't want to throw ace Mike Franco twice on short rest in a conference tournament they now need to win to make the NCAA tournament.

Also, Rice saw Mourelle only for three innings after Robby Kalaf took a shot off his right hand in the first inning in the third game of Rice's sweep earlier this year. Mourelle faced 16 batters, gave up five hits and only one run (it was earned).


FIU fifth-year senior Donald Senat made the 64-player spring watch list for the Dave Rimington Award, given annually to the best center in college football. 

Dave Rimington was the best center of his era, a dominating player on Nebraska's 1981 and 1982 teams, seasons that saw him become the first two-time winner of the Outland Trophy as the nation's outstanding interior lineman. Rimington didn't make All-Decade teams. He made All-Century teams. Though he was part of the 1983 NFL Draft's first round, generally considered the greatest first round ever, his seven-season NFL career never quite lived up to the hype. That hype existed for a center should tell you something by itself.




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Greg Hickman earned a contract after rookie camp...
Step one of a long free agent road.

Keep working and good luck


If I remember correctly, the last time we saved our Ace for the second game of a tournament, we got bounced out in two games. Mourelle has been amazing, but I think we need to throw Franco out against Rice or we don't stand much of a chance.

Its a risk the coaching staff is whiling to take. If we win Turtle looks like a genius, if we lose its all on the young pitcher and his coach.. Tough decision, but im sure he has good reasons to call in Mourelle.

Does FIU need to win the entire tournament to go to Regional?? Will a Semi's or Finals appearance be good enough??

Go Panthers!

I'm more comfortable with Mourelle going first. His numbers, minus strikeouts, is similar to Franco's. The only knock he gets is postseason experience.

Mike Franco 1.13 9-3 14-14 4 2/1 0 95.2 64 18 12 25 107 8 1 0 340 .188 0 4 1 2 8
Chris Mourelle 1.70 9-2 14-11 2 2/3 0 74.1 68 17 14 10 35 9 0 2 286 .238 2 1 0 2 4

Sorry, missed header.

Player era w-l app-gs cg sho sv ip h r er bb so 2b 3b hr ab b/avg wp hbp bk sfa sha
Mike Franco 1.13 9-3 14-14 4 2/1 0 95.2 64 18 12 25 107 8 1 0 340 .188 0 4 1 2 8
Chris Mourelle 1.70 9-2 14-11 2 2/3 0 74.1 68 17 14 10 35 9 0 2 286 .238 2 1 0 2 4

I worry about this team sputtering into this tournament. Now you face the class of the conference in Rice. Very difficult track, however our pitching SHOULD keep us in all games. Lets do this!

It's a risky move, but I understand Turtle's strategy in this. Basically, we have to try to go for the Home Run or else we stay home, regardless. Hoping Mourelle has one of the best starts of his career, and that our bats become alive and consistent from now on.

Go Panthers!

In this double elimination bracket play...having Franco to save the season should we lose game 1 is reassuring.


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