MIAMI SHROES, Fla. – Barry University’s baseball team split a pair of games to open Sunshine State Conference play Saturday against Florida Tech taking the first game 9-8 before dropping the nightcap 9-3.
On a crisp and windy afternoon the ball was flying out of the ballpark and both teams took advantage in an offensive slugfest.
Barry (7-2, 1-1 SSC) jumped out to the early 3-0 lead in the opening frame. Michael Slabach belted his first homerun of the season to start the inning. Luis Arrizurieta continued his aggressive approach at the plate with a double to right-center. A few batters later, Tim Blackmon singled to right to plate Arrizurieta. Michael Diaz followed with an RBI single as the Bucs jumped out in front adding another run in the second inning to make it 4-0.
The Panthers (7-2, 1-1 SSC) battled back with two runs in the third and another in the fourth to cut the Buccaneer lead to just one run, but Arrizurieta hit his first home run of the year, a two-run shot, to put Barry ahead 7-3.
Calvin Rayburn (3-0) took the bump for the Bucs in search of his third win of the season. The right-hander scattered 11 hits in six innings and allowed five runs. However, Rayburn received enough run support on the night to earn the victory.
Ahead 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Adrian English stepped up to the plate with two runners on and no outs. The junior, who had already extended his hit streak to eight straight with a double in the second inning, belted a homerun to right-center. The insurance runs were critical as the Panthers put together a rally in the ninth inning, but Adrian Benitez shut the door with the tying and go-ahead runs on base to claim the one-out save.
Tyler Petsch tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Rayburn. Petsch allowed just one hit and struck out the side in the eighth inning.
Jason Boyer took the loss for the Panthers after going five innings in which he allowed six runs while striking out six.
Slabach finished 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs and one RBI. Arrizurieta added a double, a home run and 2 RBI. English finished 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBI. Diaz also added a pair of hits in the win.
In the nightcap of the doubleheader the Buccaneers were not able to keep up with the Panthers’ bats.
Barry fell behind in the first inning after a Scott Carcaise two-run home run made it 3-0. The Bucs got on the board in the second inning on a Michael Diaz solo shot to right and added another run in the third.
Unfortunately a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings increased the Panther lead to 8-3 which was enough behind Cody Lewis who tossed six innings allowing just three runs in route to the win.
Joeanthony Rivera (1-1) pitched 4.1 innings and allowed just four earned runs in the Bucs’ loss.
Michael Slabach continued his strong hitting in the second game of the day with a 3-for-3 performance. English also added a pair of hits and extended his hit streak to nine games.
The Buccaneers and Panthers wrap up the series on Sunday with the rubber game scheduled for 12 p.m.
Live-stat and video broadcast will be available through the Barry University athletics website, GOBARRYBUCS.COM.