Sailfish Salvage a Split with #5-Ranked Florida Southern College

Written By: PBA Sports Information Director, Michael Brown

Peter Graffeo (Pictured) Improved to 3-1 on the Season with His Complete Game Effort in Game Two of Saturday's Double-Header Versus Florida Southern College. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Peter Graffeo (Pictured) Improved to 3-1 on the Season with His Complete Game Effort in Game Two of Saturday's Double-Header Versus Florida Southern College. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

LAKE WORTH, Fla.- After falling in a close ballgame in the opener of Saturday’s double-header versus #5-ranked Florida Southern College, the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team received another strong outing from freshman right-hander Peter Graffeo as the Fish battled for a game two win to earn the Saturday split. FSC won the opener 5-3 while PBA took game two by the identical tally of 5-3.

Graffeo (3-1) followed up a solid outing by senior Buddy Fisher in the opener with a complete-game effort of his own in game two as the Fish (16-18) salvaged the final game of the three-game series against the Moccasins (37-6) who had their 12-game winning streak snapped with the game two loss.

A right-hander out of Highlands Christian High School, Graffeo has now defeated Nova Southeastern, Lynn University, and Florida Southern College for his three victories this season. He went the distance in a seven inning stint while working around seven walks and scattering five hits. Graffeo allowed three earned runs while striking out three batters.

The Sailfish stumbled out of the game in the final game of the series as FSC jumped ahead 3-0 after two innings of play. Shortstop Wade Kirkland doubled home two runs in the first inning while Trae Gore added a sacrifice fly RBI in inning number two.

After FSC starter Gus Schlosser shut down the Fish lineup over the first three innings, PBA finally broke through against the tall right-hander with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Fish strung together three straight singles with Keith Clabaugh driving home Tony Livelsberger for the team’s first run while Jesse Gibbs added in a sacrifice fly to cut the FSC lead to 3-2.

With Graffeo settling into a groove on the hill, the PBA offense went back to work in the sixth inning as Clabaugh delivered his third hit of the game to drive home pinch-runner Steven Walker to tie the score at 3-3. After a passed ball moved the other two runners into scoring position, PBA head coach Gary Carter opted to call for a squeeze play with Gibbs at the plate and Meija on third-base.

Florida Southern nearly shut down the play but Scholosser’s delivery went over the head of FSC catcher Zach Maggard to allow the go-ahead run to score. Reliever Ryan Wolfe would then enter out of the Mocs bullpen and while he was able to strike out Ismael Cotto, his third strike pitch got away for another wild-pitch allowing for another insurance run to score.

Graffeo allowed two base-runners in the bottom of the seventh but retired the final batter on a popout to end the game as PBA knocked off the #5-ranked Moccassins and ended their 12-game winning streak.

Clabaugh finished 3-for-3 in game two with a pair of RBI’s and a run scored. Livelsberger finished 2-for-3 as the Sailfish managed eight hits.

In the opener, Fisher gave the Sailfish a solid seven inning outing as the two teams went to the ninth inning tied at 3-3.

Florida Southern struck first with a run in the first inning while PBA tied it up at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning on a run-scoring single from Meija that plated Vasilios Mila.

PBA moved ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning as Clabaugh and Cotto both launched long solo homeruns over the left-field fence off FSC starter Eddie Sipple. FSC fought back for a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the score at 3-3 as Tony Mitchell registered a two-run single.

Both teams would go to their bullpen down the stretch as FSC’s posted four innings of scoreless relief while PBA’s bullpen unfortunately was tagged for the two runs in the ninth. Gore came through with a RBI single in the inning while Baxter Chisolm added a sac fly.

PBA left-hander Alejandro De Moya (3-2) was tagged with the loss as he allowed two hits and two runs in 2/3 of an inning of work.

Gore finished 3-for-5 out of the leadoff spot for FSC in game one while Tyler Benzel and Drew Morgan both registered multi-hit games. Meija was the only PBA player to collect two hits as he registered two singles in four trips to the plate.

Palm Beach Atlantic will now turn their focus to another double-header, as they will welcome in Florida Tech for a pair of games on Tuesday, April 20th at 4 p.m.

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