Bats Break Out for Palm Beach Atlantic in Rout of Ave Maria University

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

Luis Mejia (Pictured) Was One of Many Sailfish Hitters to Have Big Nights on Monday with Mejia's 5-for-6 Showing at the Plate Including a Homerun Leading the Way. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.Luis Mejia (Pictured) Was One of Many Sailfish Hitters to Have Big Nights on Monday with Mejia's 5-for-6 Showing at the Plate Including a Homerun Leading the Way. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

LAKE WORTH, Fla.- Hitting the field for the fourth time in as many days, the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team pounded out 23 hits on Monday evening on their way to a 17-7 slugfest victory over visiting Ave Maria University at Dave Manzo Field. Junior Luis Mejia posted a career-night with five hits in six trips to the plate with a homerun while junior Yogi Gunther finished 2-for-2 which included a double, three walks, three runs batted in, and three walks.

Mejia and Gunther were just a couple of the heavy hitters in the Sailfish (3-2) lineup on Monday as 11 different hitters collected at least one base-hit while seven total hitters connected for at least two hits. PBA would score in seven of the eight innings in which they came to the plate.

With only one other game scheduled this week coming on Wednesday at Nova Southeastern University, Palm Beach Atlantic head coach Gary Carter opted to utilize a combined pitching effort with five hurlers seeing time on the mound.

Senior Graham White began the evening on the hill and was effective in his three innings of work while allowing three hits and just one earned run while striking out a pair.

Newcomer Byron Skinner earned the victory, his first collegiate win, with two innings of scoreless relief while Alejandro De Moya, Aaron Ilharreguy, and Chad Volbert all saw time on the mound as well.

After the Fish jumped on the board with two runs in the first thanks to some control issues by AMU starter Joe Bocchino that saw the Sailfish draw three walks including a bases-loaded free pass to Taylor Kaprive mixed in with an RBI single from Travis Murray, the Gyrenes would work to get back in the game in the top of the second inning with two runs of their own.

A two-run single from third-baseman Trace McDermott drove home a pair as Joe Vallor and Lesniewski both came home to score to earn an early-game tie at 2-2.

Back went to work did the Sailfish offense however three more runs in the bottom of the second inning as Mejia supplied a two-out RBI single followed later in the inning by a two-run double from Murray to move back on top by a 5-2 Sailfish lead and chase Bocchino from the game. They would extend things one more run in the bottom of the third inning as freshman Brooks Fleming came around to score on a triple from junior Justin Sizemore

AMU answered the bell however with four runs in the top of the fourth inning to knot the score at 6-6 as Sailfish veteran Chad Volbert was greeted unkindly by the AMU hitters as they collected four hits and took advantage of a throwing error by Volbert himself that saw the tying run come around and score.

Although the Fish wouldn’t answer offensively in the bottom of the fourth inning, they would get the sticks back out in the bottom of the fifth as they took a three-run lead that they would never relinquish.

Mejia struck again for a two-out run-scoring single in the fifth while Gunther ripped a double down the left-field line to score another run and extend the Sailfish lead.

With the PBA bullpen settling down and getting into a groove, the PBA offense would have the confidence to pile on some late runs as junior Matt Civetti homered in the sixth inning followed by Mejia’s round-tripper and another Murray RBI double in the seventh inning.

Freshman Sean Noland got into the act in the eighth inning as one of a number of PBA reserves seeing their first at-bats of the season as Noland contributed an RBI double while Mejia added his fifth and final hit in the form of an RBI double. Gunther chipped in a two-run single in the frame while junior Ismael Cotto added in a run-scoring pinch-hit single as well.

Murray finished 3-for-5 on the night for PBA as the Sailfish back-stop tied Mejia with the team-high in RBI’s with four. Sizemore finished 3-for-4 on the evening with two runs scored while Civetti, Fleming and Jorge Chavarria each chipped in a pair of hits.

Patrick Collins-Bride paced the Gyrenes offensive attack with a 3-for-5 showing at the plate that included a run batted in and a run scored.

The Fish and NSU Sharks will square off for the first time this season on Wednesday, February 9th in Davie, Florida with first-pitch scheduled for 6 pm. 


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