MIAMI, Fla. - Charleston Southern saw its six-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday night at the FIU Baseball Stadium as the Buccaneers dropped the series opener to host Florida International, 8-0.
The Bucs (8-3) recorded five hits against FIU starter Chris Mourelle (2-1) with Nate Blanchard connecting on his team-leading fifth double of the season in the top of the third. CSU had several opportunities with multiple runners on base, but the Bucs were unable to crack the scoreboard for the first time of the 2017 season in the loss.
Florida International (8-6) ran its winning streak to six games in a row on Thursday night with the win paced by Mourelle's strong appearance on the rubber. He went 6.0 innings and allowed five hits and two walks while striking out five in the win. Michael Agis (S, 1) went the final 3.0 innings for the Panthers, striking out five in his first save of the season.
The Panthers touched CSU starter Evan Nations (0-1) early with Nations going 3.0 innings and allowing five hits and three runs in the loss. Wil Hartsell, Daniel Johnson, and Jamison Mobbs closed out the contest for the Bucs' bullpen.
FIU took the early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first following a RBI single off the bat of Kenny Meimerstorf and a RBI groundout from J.C. Escarra. Meimerstorf added a RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third scoring Javier Valdes to increase the Panthers' lead.
The Panthers added two more runs in the sixth on an Escarra two-run shot. FIU closed out the scoring in the seventh with Irving Lopez driving in the first with a RBI triple, while Meimerstorf and Escarra both added RBI in the frame.
Charleston Southern nearly cracked the scoreboard in the top of the third inning as Blanchard connected on a two-out double to right field. However, aggressive base-running did not work in CSU's favor as Tyler Kinney was thrown out at the plate trying to score on the play and ended the CSU rally.
The Bucs put a pair of runners on base in both the fifth and sixth innings but were unable to take advantage of either situation in the shutout.
- FIU's shutout of the Bucs on Thursday night was the first time CSU had been held scoreless in the 2017 season. The last time CSU was shutout came back on May 19, 2016, in the series opener at Presbyterian when the Bucs fell to the Blue Hose, 12-0.
- The Buccaneers continue to struggle in the series openers in the 2017 season as CSU falls to 1-3 in their first game of a weekend series. CSU rebounded to win the final two games of the series against both Delaware State and VCU, while sweeping all three contests against Hofstra.
- Nate Blanchard recorded his team-leading fifth double of the season to take the individual team lead in the category on the season. Blanchard has three doubles over the past two games for the Bucs.
- Jason Miller led the Bucs with a 2-for-3 performance from the plate and added his third stolen base of the season. Miller has recorded a steal in three of the last four games and sits second on the team in stolen bases on the year trailing Chris Singleton (6).
Tomorrow's Probable Starters
Fresh off his first start in the 2017 season last weekend, LHP Cody Maw (1-0, 2.35 ERA) is expected to toe the rubber for the Bucs on Friday night. LHP Andrew George (1-1, 3.75 ERA) is expected to draw the start for FIU.
First pitch between CSU and FIU is set for 7 p.m. on Friday at the FIU Baseball Stadium.