Volbert Shines But Southeastern Able to Steal Late Victory for Opening Day Sweep

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University Sports Information Director

Box Score

LAKELAND, Fla.- Junior right-hander Chad Volbert earned a game-two start for the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish on Saturday afternoon versus Southeastern University. After a solid six inning stint left Volbert and the Sailfish tied at 1-1, the team turned to their bullpen for the seventh frame. After a leadoff double and a wild-pitch necessitated walking the bases-loaded, the Fire eventually earned the walk-off 2-1 win through a steal of home by pinch-runner Nate Young.

After eight errors in their first game left the Sailfish (0-2) looking for answers, game two provided a better indication of the type of fundamental baseball new head coach Gary Carter was expecting from his young team.

Mostly a long-reliever during his first season with the team last season, Volbert came through on a chilly day in which wind gusts exceeded 20 miles per hour. A native of Bloomington, Minnesota, Volbert exceeded expectations and rested the bullpen with six solid innings.

The Fish struck first in game two when sophomore third-baseman Luis Meija reached on an error to start the third inning and then came in to score on an infield single from senior Scott Urbanek.

Volbert took a shutout into the bottom of the sixth inning when Southeastern leadoff man Auburn Donaldson led off with a single followed by a bunt single from Hector Echemendia putting two on with nobody out. After a wild pitch moved Donaldson to third, Tyler Langford delivered a sacrifice fly to center-field that tied the game. Volbert retired the final two hitters in the inning through strikeouts, escaping any further damage.

Exceeding the 80-pitch mark on a cold day in the first week of the season, the Sailfish opted to lift Volbert in the seventh inning for a trip to the bullpen. Junior left-hander Graham White first entered and promptly allowed a leadoff double to catcher Bryan Sparrow. After a White wild-pitch allowed pinch-runner Young within 90 feet of scoring and nobody out, the Fish decided it best to walk the next two hitters and hope for a miracle.

Senior Martin Suarez relieved White and was placed in a tough position. Suarez came through by striking out the first-hitter he faced in Brandon DeResperis only to see Young come sprinting home under the tag of PBA catcher Keith Clabaugh for the winning run on a steal of home.

PBA was limited to three hits in the seven-inning contest as SU pitcher Justin Mauldin went the distance for the win while striking out three and allowing just the one earned run.

Urbanek’s RBI hit were joined by singles from fellow seniors Tony Livelsberger and Clabaugh.

The Fish will welcome in Florida Tech on Tuesday, February 9th at 6 p.m. for their next contest as they will host the Panthers at Roger Dean Stadium for the official home opener for the Sailfish.

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