Big Inning Leads Sailfish to Victory Over Saint Leo in Friday Night Opener

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

Taylor Kaprive (Pictured) Returned to the Lineup on Friday Evening and Produced a 2-for-4 Night at the Plate to Help Lead PBA to an 8-5 Win Over Saint Leo.  Photo Courtesy of: Damon Higgins. Taylor Kaprive (Pictured) Returned to the Lineup on Friday Evening and Produced a 2-for-4 Night at the Plate to Help Lead PBA to an 8-5 Win Over Saint Leo. Photo Courtesy of: Damon Higgins.

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- All it took was an opening on Friday night at the Santaluces Sports Complex for the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team to take advantage of. Three Saint Leo University errors accompanied by seven Palm Beach Atlantic hits allowed the Fish to score eight times in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Blue and White did all their damage in one frame on their way to an 8-5 victory.

The win over Saint Leo (3-7) opens up a two-game weekend slate between PBA and SLU as the two teams will square off on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm for another nine inning contest. Friday night’s game was played at the Santaluces Sports Complex as part of the opening games of the Palm Beach Challenge, an annual month-long series of baseball games that feature teams from every division of the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA competing in “Spring Break” games in South Florida.

Saturday’s game will take place at Dave Manzo Field at Dick Brown Park.

Sailfish junior Jeremiah Cothiere (2-0) earned his second win of the season with a solid six inning outing that included four strikeouts and two walks while allowing six hits and four runs (three earned). Left-hander Alejandro De Moya came on for the three-inning save as the Dominican Republic left-hander allowed only two hits and one run in his three frames while striking out three batters to earn his first save of the season.

Over the first four innings, both starting pitchers would limit the opposition as SLU led 1-0 on a RBI single from second-baseman Ryan Brnovich.

SLU starter Aaron Brandt didn’t run into serious trouble until the fifth inning when he would face five batters, all reaching base and turning the table on Brandt’s solid outing to that point.

A leadoff walk to Taylor Kaprive was followed by a single from Ethan Perla then a botched sacrifice bunt laid down by Michael Lyon that loaded the bases with nobody out. Nick Natale then sent a ball to deep right-centerfield that was just beyond the reach of the SLU center-fielder that tied the score at 2-2.

A run-scoring single from Brooks Fleming would then follow to plate the go-ahead run in Lyon. Freshman Johnny Cole then stepped in and added an RBI single followed by another single from Travis Murray. Luis Mejia would then reach on a throwing error which proceeded a Justin Sizemore bases-loaded walk from reliever Cody Johnson.

Kaprive stepped in for his second at-bat of the inning and promptly added a two-run single before the inning would finally be concluded on a popout to second-base.

Although the Sailfish would threaten a few more times during the remaining innings, a pair of key double-plays by the SLU defense thwarted any possible scoring opportunities for the Fish down the stretch.

Cole continued his good work at the plate by leading the team with three hits in five at-bats while Natale, Kaprive, and Perla each contributed a pair of base hits as PBA pounded out 13 hits as a team.

SLU ended the contest with eight base-hits including three by Brnovich who finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.

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