Bottom of the ninth. Tie game. Potential game-winning run on second base.
It’s the stuff rivalries are made of, and that was the scene set for FIU senior infielder Nick Day as he stepped up to the plate on March 8 as the Panthers sought to defeat the University of Miami Hurricanes for the second time in as many nights.
And in front of the home crowd at FIU Baseball Stadium, Day delivered.
With the game tied 2-2, Day hit a deep fly ball to center field that sent UM outfielder Carl Chester toward the warning track. Just as Chester made the catch, pinch runner Kolby Follis tagged up at second base and sprinted for third.
FIU Head Coach Mervyl Melendez, standing in the third base coach’s box, made the gutsy call of waving Follis home and setting up a bang-bang play at home plate.
The relay throw to home was a bit wide, forcing Miami catcher Joe Gomez to his right and allowing Follis to slide in head first and beat the tag by inches to score the winning run and empty the Panthers dugout.
The 3-2 victory over UM puts the Panthers’ win streak at five games heading into their home weekend series against Charleston Southern, which starts tonight, March 9, at FIU Baseball Stadium. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
The Panthers and Hurricanes will meet again in Coral Gables on April 26.
For more information on the game and FIU Baseball, go to FIUSports.com.