The Seton Hall baseball team came out flat in the first game of its four-game series with Florida International on Friday night, falling 8-3. It was the second series in a row in which the offense came out flat in Game 1 of a series.
FIU got off to an early start on an RBI single by JC Escarra that plated Irving Lopez in the bottom of the first, and scored again after designated hitter Austin Rodriguez singled up the middle that allowed center fielder Jack Schaaf to come in to score, giving the Panthers the early 2-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Shane McCarthy (0-2) ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. The sophomore hit Escarra to lead off the inning before allowing each of the next three batters to single, including an RBI by right fielder Kenny Meimerstorf that would signal the end of McCarthy’s night.
McCarthy’s outing ended after giving up 11 hits, five earned runs and striking out five.
McCarthy was replaced by Sam Burum, who came on and allowed two earned runs while going 2/3 of an inning. Burum allowed Schaaf to single through the right side, which scored Kolby Follis. The very next batter, Zack Soria, laced a double to right center that allowed Lopez to score from second before Escarra reached on a fielding error by Joe Poduslenko that allowed Schaaf to score to cap off a six run fifth inning.
Heading to the top of the seventh, SHU trialed 8-0 before the offense started to get going, as junior Mikael-Ali Mogues extended his hitting streak to five games with a RBI triple down the right-field line that allowed Ryan Ramiz to score. Mogues came across the plate when Sebastiano Santorelli grounded out to first.
After sophomore Tim Edwards worked through the bottom of the seventh 1-2-3, Poduslenko reached on an error by Rey Perez that allowed Derek Jenkins to score, cutting the Panthers’ lead to 8-3, but that would be all for the Pirates.
Seton Hall will retake the diamond on Saturday night and look to bounce back against FIU at 6:30 p.m. in Miami, Fla.
Kevin Huebler can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Hueblerkevin