Miami, Fla. – The Brown baseball team began its 2012 season on Friday night, taking on FIU in the first of a three game set. The Bears took an early 2-0 lead against the Panthers, plating two in the first inning, but FIU battled back to take a 5-3 lead after the fourth. Brown tied it up in the seventh inning, but the Panthers first baseman Adam Kirsch hit the game's only home run in the bottom half of the frame to give FIU a 6-5 victory.
FIU improves its record to 2-5 on the year, while Brown now stands at 0-1. The two teams will square off again on Saturday evening at 6 p.m., before playing the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.
An RBI single by sophomore catcher Wes Van Boom (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) in the first inning got the scoring started for the Bears who took an early 2-0 lead after the initial half inning.
FIU got one back in the bottom of the first, but Brown responded in the next frame with a single from sophomore outfielder Matt DeRenzi (Mendham, N.J.), which plated classmate J.J. Franco (New York, N.Y.), who walked, stole second and then advanced to third on a throwing error.
The Panthers would not back down however, scoring another in the third and two more in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. They then expanded it to a two-run advantage, making it three-straight innings plating at least one run.
A bases loaded walk by junior Cody Slaughter (New Port Richey, Fla.) followed by an FIU balk, tied the game up at five in the top of the seventh.
It was Kirsch who was able to come through with the heroics for the Panthers, blasting a solo home run to dead center for a 6-5 FIU lead in the bottom of seventh inning.
Brown got four innings of solid relief pitching out of freshman Will Marcal (Lexington, Mass.), who gave up just three hits and one earned run in four innings, while striking out six.