Sailfish Earn Saturday Split; Take Two of Three From Saint Leo in Weekend Series
April 10, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
SAINT LEO, Fla.- While the Sailfish didn’t have quite the offensive firepower on Saturday afternoon that they displayed in Friday evening’s 11-4 series-opening victory over Saint Leo University, they did produce some late heroics to pick up an extra-innings victory over the Lions in game two on Saturday to earn the series win. After SLU prevailed 7-5 in the opener, PBA stormed back for a dramatic 8-5 win in ten innings in game two.
Now 14-16 on the season, the Sailfish earned their second weekend series victory of the season over a member of the Sunshine State Conference after sweeping Lynn University on the weekend of March 26-27.
With Saturday’s second game only scheduled for seven innings, the Sailfish and Lions (16-26) went extra innings after both teams proved pesky with the bats in the late innings. After the Fish moved ahead 5-3 in the top of the ninth inning on a two-run single by senior shortstop Vasilios Mila, the Lions fired right back on one swing as Eugene Garnett Jr. connected for a game-tying two-run homerun to tie things back up at 5-5.
The Fish finally broke through for good in the top of the tenth inning as senior Dion Pouncil drilled a two-run triple and eventually came home to score himself on the same play on an error by the SLU third-baseman. This put PBA up by the eventual game two tally of 8-5.
Game one featured an early pitcher’s duel quickly be erased as both team’s offenses got going in the middle innings.
PBA jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the third inning on a two-run single from Mila that plated Jonny Herrera and Scott Urbanek. After Saint Leo cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom half of the inning, PBA stormed back with two more runs in the top of the fourth inning on a Luis Meija two-run homer to take a 4-1 lead.
That advantage would be short-lived however as SLU retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Lions received RBI singles from Garnett and J.C. Suarez while Dustin Brown launched a two-run homerun to left-field to complete the scoring in the inning and place the Lions in front 5-4.
After retiring the first batter of the sixth inning, PBA starter Buddy Fisher (2-4) was lifted after allowing a walk and a single. Junior left-hander Graham White continued his solid work of late as he retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.
Still clinging to a one-run lead, the Lions gave their bullpen a little breathing room in the bottom of the eighth inning as they plated two important insurance runs on a sacrifice fly and a throwing error by PBA. Those runs would prove to be important heading into the ninth inning as PBA was able to scratch out one run on a Herrera RBI groundout but were left a little short in the final 7-5 score.
Garnett Jr. led the 12-hit attack for Saint Leo in the opener with a 3-for-5showing including two doubles. PBA was paced by Mila’s 2-for-4 showing with a pair of RBI’s and Sam Testa finishing 2-for-4 as a part of PBA’s eight hits.
Freshman right-hander Peter Graffeo went to the bump in game two for the Fish and provided head coach Gary Carter with yet another solid performance as he worked into the seventh inning before exiting. While he did not factor into the decision, Graffeo scattered nine hits and allowed three runs in his 6.1 innings of work while walking three and striking out five.
Neither team could push across a run through the first three innings as both Graffeo and his SLU counterpart Cody Johnson traded zeroes. The Fish finally broke through in the top of the fourth inning as sophomore Justin Sizemore led off the inning with his third homerun of the spring to put PBA in front 1-0.
The Fish expanded that lead to 3-0 the following inning as Tony Livelsberger singled up the middle that brought home two runs. Johnson began the inning but walked the first two men he saw before giving up the baseball to reliever Corey Marcus who allowed the Livelsberger single.
SLU did not quit however and drew the score even at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning as freshman Ryan Brnovich delivered a two-run single to right-field while Suarez chipped in with a run-scoring double.
Graffeo would settle back in from there until leaving the ballgame with one out in the seventh inning. White came on for this second appearance of the day and once again came in to get some tough outs. With one out and two men on, White retired the next two hitters he faced to keep the score tied at three runs apiece.
After the ninth inning drama kept the game tied at 5-5, PBA finally broke through for good against the SLU bullpen with three runs in the tenth, all off the hit by Pouncil.
Meija was the only Sailfish batter to register a multi-hit game in the nightcap as he finished 2-for-4 as he made a very successful return to the PBA lineup this weekend after missing a month of action due to an ankle injury.
PBA will return home on Tuesday, April 13th to host Barry University at 6 p.m. at Dave Manzo Field. The Bucs are currently 2-0 against PBA this season with a pair of one-run victories in Miami Shores earlier during the 2010 campaign.