Sizemore's Ninth Inning Blast Leads Sailfish to Big Final Frame to Continue Win Streak
March 15, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.- It took until the final two innings for the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team to awaken their bats on Tuesday afternoon but when they did it was quite impressive. The Fish scored three runs in the eighth inning to tie the game at 6-6 then followed with a five spot in the ninth including a pinch-hit, leadoff homerun from Justin Sizemore that gave the Fish the lead and eventually a 10-5 win.
Sophomore right-hander Aaron Rodewald (1-0) gave the Sailfish (8-9) just what they needed in relief in the late innings with 3.2 innings of scoreless pitching to wind up with his first victory of the season as the Sailfish offense overcame a late deficit for the second consecutive day on their way to their sixth straight win. Rodewald allowed only two hits and no runs while striking out two to give the Sailfish the victory.
Both teams pitchers had their issues on the day with FMU starter Richard Burns allowing a first inning run on a passed ball after walking leadoff man Scott Urbanek to start the game. Burns would then settle down over the next few innings as he allowed only two hits in his five innings before handing things over to the Lions bullpen.
After PBA grabbed the early lead, they would turn to freshman left-hander Jonathan Kies as their starting pitcher. Unfortunately for Kies and the Fish it would not be his day as he struggled with his command to the tune of three walks and six hits allowed in 2.1 innings before being lifted.
Palm Beach Atlantic head coach Gary Carter would turn the ball over to another left-hander in Alejandro De Moya who allowed only one hit over three innings of work while striking out two batters and walking four. A freshman from the Dominican Republic allowed one earned run as he kept the Lions from blowing the game open and enough time for the Sailfish offense to make their rally.
After pushing across a run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly from Jonny Herrera that cut the FMU lead to 3-2, the Fish appeared as if they might be ready to re-take the lead. That thought would be temporarily squashed however when the Lions got the run back in the bottom of the inning then added a fifth run in the sixth inning to take a 5-2 lead heading into the final three innings.
The Fish got their rally in the eighth inning started when Sam Testa drew a one-out walk followed by a wild pitch and a single from Tony Livelsberger to put men at the corners. After a Vasilios Mila RBI groundout scored the first run, seniors Keith Clabaugh and Neil Hardon would follow with an RBI double and single respectively to tie the score at 5-5.
After another scoreless inning by Rodewald in the bottom of the eighth, Sizemore would be called upon to pinch hit for second-baseman Steven Walker. Sizemore delivered another clutch hit as he connected on an 0-2 pitch for a towering homerun over the right-field fence bringing the Sailfish to their feet in the dugout.
His first collegiate homerun, Sizemore was greeted as he arrived at home plate by his teammates after the dramatic go-ahead big fly.
The Fish would tack on four more runs in the inning including a two-run single from Livelsberger that put the game out of reach for a Lions late comeback.
Livelsberger finished 2-for-5 in the game with a pair of RBI’s while Jesse Gibbs also finished with two hits in three official at-bats. Clabaugh had two RBI’s and a run scored.
The Sailfish will be back in action on Wednesday when they travel back to Miami Gardens to take on the Bobcats of St. Thomas University for a 6 p.m. start time.