FIU baseball team looking to build momentum after ending skid vs. rival Miami Hurricanes

For FIU baseball coach Rich Witten, beating the Miami Hurricanes isn’t necessarily bigger than any other win, but he admits it was huge for just about everyone else around him.

Wednesday’s 9-7 win was FIU’s first victory over Miami since 2018. The Panthers had lost 12 straight games to Miami.

“I was happy for our players,” Witten said. “You could see the looks on their faces when the final out was made.

“We had lost a lot of heartbreakers to them over the years, and you could tell by the volume of text messages I had on my phone on my drive home that this was also a big game for our alumni and fans. They were fired up.”

FIU (25-25 overall, 11-13 Conference USA) has already clinched a spot in the eight-team C-USA postseason tournament, set for May 22-26 in Ruston, Louisiana.

If the Panthers win that tournament, they would make an NCAA regional for the first time since 2015.

Witten said they are a couple of keys for FIU success.

First, the Panthers are 16-4 when scoring first. Early offense is crucial.

Secondly, FIU’s top relievers need to get healthy. Witten said Orlando Hernandez (2-1, 1.57 ERA, two saves) and Logan Runde (3-2, 4.62) are expected to be back in time for the C-USA Tournament. Both of them have been out for a couple of weeks.

Reliever Ryan Cabarcas (5-4, 3.40, team-high five saves) has been dealing with “bumps and bruises,” Witten said.

FIU has four games left in its regular season, including a May 14 home contest against Miami. FIU will then close its regular season with a three-game set at Iowa.

“It’s good to be challenged,” Witten said of the Iowa series. “We want to keep our guys sharp.”


Barry’s women’s tennis team (18-4) is seeded first and will serve as host in the NCAA Division II South Regional starting on Friday. Nova Southeastern University (23-4) is seeded third among the eight teams.

Barry men’s tennis team (14-6), seeded fourth, will play in Georgia in the South Regional starting on Monday. Top-seeded Valdosta is the host of the eight-team regional.

The Nova Southeastern University softball team (38-12), which is ranked 24th in the nation, has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs in Montgomery, Alabama.

St. Thomas University (38-10), which last week won the Sun Conference postseason softball tournament for the first time since 2014, will play in the NAIA national playoffs on Monday in Klamath Falls, Oregon. STU (38-10) will open against a California school, Vanguard (40-11).

STU’s rugby team won its bowl game in Houston, beating Air Force, 27-24. STU, a Division IAA team, made its case to join higher-level teams in D1A next year. Air Force is a D1A team.

Florida Memorial University’s baseball team lost its opening-round game 8-5 against Edward Waters at the Black College World Series at Montgomery, Alabama.