Sailfish Respond from Friday's Disappointment with Strong Saturday Showdown at NU

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Alejandro De Moya (Pictured) Came On for the Win in Relief in PBA's Game Two Extra Innings Winner Over Northwood on Saturday. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Alejandro De Moya (Pictured) Came On for the Win in Relief in PBA's Game Two Extra Innings Winner Over Northwood on Saturday. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- After two games where nothing seemed to go their way, the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team responded the way good teams have to on Saturday with a pair of tight wins on the road at Northwood University. Newcomers Jeremiah Cothiere and Jimmy Kelly combined for a one-hit shutout in the opener while a team effort in game two resulted in an extra innings winner over their cross town rivals.

While offense was at a premium on Saturday for both teams, a big reason was the strong work of both pitching staffs as 12 pitchers were combined to be used by both teams on the day after 10 pitchers were used in the Friday night opener. The Fish held on for the 2-0 win in game one while it took some late heroics from the Fish in game two to escape with the 4-2 win to even their season record at 2-2.

A junior college transfer from Marion Military Academy, Cothiere was not only efficient in his five innings of work in the opener on Saturday but also proved to be dominant at times with six strikeouts before handing the ball on to freshman Jimmy Kelly in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Palm Beach Atlantic would score both of their runs in the game on a bizarre play in the top of the third inning as a pitch got away from the Northwood catcher who proceeded to throw the ball away trying to cut down the runner at the plate.  This errant throw connected with some loose bats near the Seahawks (1-3) dugout that brought home PBA’s second run on the interference call.

Upon Kelly’s arrival into the game in the sixth inning, the Fish were hoping to see a few quality innings out of their true freshman right-hander from Seabreeze High School. Kelly worked quickly and showed a strong repertoire of pitches as he went on to face the minimum of 12 batters in his four innings of work to complete his first save of his collegiate career.

The Seahawks would break up the no-hit bid in the bottom of the ninth inning with a sharp single by Robbie Jones. A tailor-made double-play would then follow however as the twin-killing left the Hawks with nobody on and two outs. Kelly retired the final batter on a ground-out to secure the Sailfish first win of the season.

Kelly finished with six strikeouts to combine with Cothiere for a total of 12 punch outs in the game.

Offensively the Fish were led by a pair of hits from centerfielder Ethan Perla who finished 2-for-3 while Brooks Fleming added a hit and a run scored.

Game two featured a solid performance from left-handed starter Jonathan Kies as he gave the Fish 4.2 innings of work before giving the ball over to the bullpen. Kies would allow two runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out one.

The Sailfish got the scoring started in the top of the third inning as freshman shortstop Jorge Chavarria singled with one out, stole second-base, and then came around to score on a hard lineout sacrifice fly from fellow freshman middle infielder Michael Lyon.

Northwood would respond in the bottom half of the inning as a bunt single from Jones set up an eventual RBI single from Kevin Johnson to knot the score at 1-1.

The Seahawks would take their first lead of the day in the bottom of the fifth inning as a two-out popup in short right-centerfield by Johnson would fall in for a bloop RBI single to move ahead 2-1.

Set to play only seven innings in the second-game of the double-header, the Sailfish would work hard in the sixth inning to tie the score. Pinch-hitter Luis Mejia doubled to start the frame then advanced to third-base on a wild-pitch with no one out. After a strikeout, Mejia would race home as a chopper from Travis Murray would be fielded by the NU third-baseman and fired home only to have Mejia slide around the tag for the game-tying run.

Things would remain tied over the next two innings as the PBA bullpen held the Seahawks hitters at bay despite the rally attempts by the home team.

The game nearly ended in the bottom of the eighth inning as NU put together a string of timely hits. Alden Wassenaar singled to start the inning off PBA reliever Kenny Frosch and was then sacrificed to second-base as the potential game-winning run. After a called third-strike on Dan Heskin gave the Sailfish a key second-out, an all-around odd play would transpire.

A single from Kevin Sides sent the pinch-runner Ham racing towards the plate however in his angst to score the winning run Ham would trip and fall down in between third-base and home. PBA freshman catcher Sawyer Smith received the throw home from Perla in center-field but was unable to get Ham out in a run-down back to third-base.

After the dust cleared from the all-around oddity that was the previous play, the Sailfish opted to intentionally walk the next batter Jones to load the bases and bring in left-hander Alejandro De Moya. De Moya proved clutch from the pen as he struck out pinch-hitter Rafael Ortega to continue the game forward.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Sailfish would plate two runs as Chavarria provided the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to score Taylor Kaprive and then Mejia chipped in with his second double of the game for an insurance run.

De Moya closed the door in the bottom of the inning for his first win of the season with a one-two-three final frame.

PBA finished with eight total hits in the game including two each from Mejia and Murray while Kaprive and Matt Civetti both added a hit and a run scored.

After solid bullpen work from Kelly in the first game, the Fish saw solid performances from Christian Wonders (2 IP, 0 ER, 2 SO, 1 hit), Frosch (1 IP, 0 ER, 1 SO,  1 hit), and De Moya (1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 SO, 0 hit).

After a busy first week that included splitting four games, the Fish will have a quick turnaround as they will host Ave Maria University at 6 pm on Monday, February 7th. The team will be on the road on Wednesday, February 9th for a contest at Nova Southeastern for their only other scheduled game action for the week.

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