Big First Inning Backs a Solid Outing from Peter Graffeo As the Fish Overtake Sharks

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

Peter Graffeo (Pictured) Gave the Sailfish Eight Strong Innings on Friday Night and Picked Up His First Career Victory. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Peter Graffeo (Pictured) Gave the Sailfish Eight Strong Innings on Friday Night and Picked Up His First Career Victory. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

DAVIE, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team made the trip south on Friday night to take on the Nova Southeastern University Sharks for the only action of the week for PBA. After scoring six times in the opening inning, the Fish tacked on three additional runs as freshman right-hander Peter Graffeo gave the Fish an outstanding eight inning effort as PBA cruised 9-1 over Nova Southeastern at the NSU Baseball Complex.

Earning his first collegiate start after giving the Sailfish a solid arm out of the bullpen through the first month of the season, Graffeo (1-0) didn’t disappoint as he allowed only three hits over his eight innings of work while striking out eight Sharks batters. The Highlands Christian product mixed his pitches very effectively with his only run allowed coming on a solo homerun by Sharod Johnson in the bottom of the third inning.

The Sailfish (3-9) wasted little time backing Graffeo with some solid run support as they torched NSU starter Sean Koechler (0-4) for six runs in the opening inning.

Scott Urbanek began the ballgame by reaching on an infield hit then moved up to second-base on a push-bunt base hit from sophomore Ismael Cotto. The tandem would then pull off a double-steal leaving both in scoring position. After a strikeout of third-baseman Luis Meija, senior first-baseman Tony Livelsberger cracked an opposite-field double into the right-centerfield gap that brought home both Urbanek and Cotto to go up 2-0.

Later in the inning, senior catcher Keith Clabaugh would plate two more as he drilled an 0-2 pitch from Koechler into left-field for a two-run single. Continuing to stay aggressive, Vasilios Mila and Clabaugh pulled off the second double-steal of the inning for PBA with Mila coming home to score on a RBI groundout from Neil Hardon while Tommy Crews added in a RBI single to score Clabaugh and cap the scoring for the productive first frame.

That would be all the run support Graffeo would need as he logged the first eight innings before handing the baseball off to freshman left-hander Alejandro De Moya who worked around a hit and two walks to pitch a scoreless ninth inning and preserve the 9-1 victory.

PBA added a run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly from Hardon while scoring another in the eighth inning on a RBI single from Cotto. Senior Sam Testa homered to leadoff the ninth inning on a long-drive over the right-field wall.

Testa finished with perhaps his finest performance in a Sailfish uniform on Friday evening with three hits including the homerun. Clabaugh, Crews, and Cotto all finished with two hits apiece.

Koechler took the loss for the Sharks as he lasted only one inning. Lefty Chris Hamper pitched solid in relief for NSU, giving the Sharks (9-11) six innings out of the bullpen while allowing only one run, four hits, and striking out seven batters. James Martinez tallied the final two innings of relief for Nova Southeastern while striking out two and allowing two runs on three hits.

PBA will have the remainder of the weekend off before beginning a busy week of action over Spring Break next week. The Fish open a four-game homestand next week by inviting in Lynn University on Tuesday, March 9th at 6 p.m. for a makeup game with the Fighting Knights. The game will be played at 6 p.m. at Dave Manzo Field at Dick Brown Park.

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