Sailfish Drop a Pair to Eckerd College in Weekend Baseball Action

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

The Sailfish Infield Gathers Before the First Pitch. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. The Sailfish Infield Gathers Before the First Pitch. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- After having their weekend series opener on Friday rained out, the Palm Beach Atlantic  University baseball team hit the field on Saturday for a pair of road games at Eckerd College and the Turley Athletic Complex. The Tritons fought off a PBA comeback in the first game to win 9-6 while completing the sweep with a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Fish in the night cap.

Battling cooler temperatures for the second straight weekend on the west coast of Florida, the Sailfish have had tough luck in looking for their first win of the season as they are now 0-4 after dropping two games last weekend at Southeastern University.

Sophomore Logan Thomas drew his second start of the young season against the Tritons in game one but struggled to find his command as he walked three batters in 3.2 innings of work while being touched for nine hits, six runs (two earned) while adding in two strikeouts.

The Tritons (5-1)  countered with Johnny Lancaster (2-1) who tossed the first six innings before giving way to four EC relievers who despite a hard-fought Sailfish comeback, closed the door on a 9-6 win.

EC managed a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning on a run-scoring double from Wess Hollins who then came around to score on a passed ball. PBA cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth inning when senior first-baseman Tony Livelsberger launched his first homerun of the season, a solo shot to right-field.

Back came the Tritons however in the bottom of the inning as they plated seven runs eventually chasing Thomas from the ballgame with the big blow coming on a grand-slam from Minervino Labrador pushing the score to 9-1.

PBA would not give up however as Luis Meija drove home a run in the sixth inning on a RBI double while senior leadoff man Scott Urbanek connected for a bases-clearing triple in the top of the eighth inning to cut the EC lead to 9-5.

After scoring a run in the ninth on a Keith Clabaugh single, the Sailfish were able to load the bases with two outs after a pinch-hit single from junior Jesse Gibbs. Unfortunately for Gibbs and the Fish, hopes of furthering the inning were closed out as Gibbs was picked off first-base by catcher Oliver Killoren.

Fransisco Collazo tallied the save for Eckerd, his first of the season, after getting the final two outs. Lancaster tallied the win as he improved to 2-1 after giving up seven hits, five strikeouts, and four walks in six innings.

Relieving Thomas for PBA was freshman left-hander Jonathan Kies who tossed 3.1 scoreless innings while collecting five strikeouts. Carlos Hechavarria and Alejandro De Moya combined on the last frame for the Fish with neither allowing a run.

Livelsberger capped a terrific first game at the plate with a 4-fo-4 showing including the solo homerun. The Hanover, Pennsylvania native scored three runs in the process with the one RBI. Meija was the only other Sailfish player to register a multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 showing while Ismael Cotto collected three walks.

In game two, the Tritons were the ones to make a sizeable comeback as the Sailfish were able to jump out to a 3-0 lead when they plated three runs in the second inning.

After a leadoff single by Vasilios Mila got the inning started, Clabaugh followed with a two-run homer, his first of the season. Meija came in to score the third run of the inning on a balk.

The Tritons would then try their hand at squaring off against PBA senior right-hander Buddy Fisher. After back-to-back scoreless frames to start the game, Fisher was tagged for a single run in the third and fourth innings before exiting with two runners on to start the fifth inning. Fisher finished with four innings completed allowing five hits, four runs (two earned), two walks, and two strikeouts.

PBA added to their lead in the top of the fourth inning when Cotto came through with an RBI single that scored Jonny Herrera which put PBA in front by a 4-1 score.

Fisher was relieved by junior Chad Volbert who came on for Fisher in the fifth inning. Volbert would allow a sacrifice fly and then the tying run coming in to score on an error.

After the Fish were held scoreless in the top of the sixth inning by EC starter Joey Cuda, the Tritons went back to work on offense to scratch out the go-ahead run. Stephen Pelc began the frame with a single and then moved to second-base on a sacrifice bunt. He would come home to score on a RBI single from Hollins to push ahead 5-4.

Collazo would once again relieve for the Tritons in the seventh and final inning as he retired the first PBA batter but then walked Livelsberger. After a Mila flyout, the Fish opted to use Thomas as a pinch-runner for Livelsberger who was gunned down by the catcher Killoren trying to steal to end the ball game.

Volbert was tagged for the loss, his first of the season, while Cuda improved to 1-0. Collazo registered his second save of the day.

The Sailfish are back in action on Tuesday, February 16th as they will try for the third time to host a home opener after having the first two attempts, both at Roger Dean Stadium, rained out. PBA welcomes in Nova Southeastern University for a 6 p.m. contest at Dave Manzo Field at Dick Brown Park in Lake Worth, Florida.

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