Luis Mejia Delivers Game Winner as PBA Walks Off with Win Over Saint Leo
February 26, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
LAKE WORTH, Fla.- The 2011 baseball season for Palm Beach Atlantic University may only be 14 games old but it has already produced its fair share of exciting moments. Adding to the list on Saturday was junior infielder Luis Mejia whose two-out double in the ninth inning plated pinch-runner Michael Lyon from first-base as Lyon’s slide beat the relay throw home for a 2-1 Sailfish win over visiting Saint Leo University.
Second-baseman Yogi Gunther got the inning started with a one-out single which prompted PBA head coach Gary Carter to insert the speedy Lyon as his pinch-runner at first-base. After a strikeout by SLU’s Adam Albers, Mejia stepped in and lifted a long drive to deep left-field that just escaped the outstretched arms of SLU left-fielder Myron Kirchner. With Lyon off and running at the crack of the bat, he would slide in ahead of the throw sending the PBA bench into jubilation as they mobbed both Lyon and Mejia for the walk-off win.
The victory wraps up a 2-0 weekend matchup against the Lions (3-8) who were defeated by PBA by a score of 8-5 on Friday night. The win pushes PBA’s record to 10-4 on the season.
Although the most exciting portion of the game happened on its final play, the two starting pitchers presented something pretty entertaining themselves as PBA’s T.J. Harbuck and SLU’s Shaun Gough each shut down the opposing lineup in an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel.
With the score 0-0 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Fish would scratch out an unearned run as Travis Murray came in to score on an over-throw of a groundball off the bat of Ismael Cotto. Murray had doubled earlier in the inning and would push PBA in front 1-0.
Making his third start of the season for PBA, Harbuck would return to the hill in the top of the eighth inning with a 1-0 lead as he hoped to complete another scoreless inning. The Lions however would have a different plan as they got things started with a leadoff single from Michael Callahan, then advanced him via a sacrifice bunt before Frank Rawdow drove home the game-tying run with a sharp single up the middle.
Harbuck would be relived after a solid 7.1 innings start that included allowing only five hits and two walks while striking out three batters.
After tying the score at one run apiece, the Lions would make a pitching change as well with Gough handing the ball on to Alders who would take the loss to drop to 0-1 on the season.
Gough used a good mixture of spotting his fastball and mixing in his breaking pitches all afternoon as he kept PBA at bay for the most part, allowing only three hits in eight innings on the mound while striking out nine batters and walking only one.
Graham White earned the win, his first of the season, by pitching a scoreless top of the ninth inning.
Mejia was the only player for either team to register a multi-hit game as he finished 2-for-4 at the plate.
Palm Beach Atlantic will have the early portion of next week off from game action before gearing up for a busy weekend stretch. The Fish will take on Mercyhurst College on Thursday, March 3rd at the Santaluces Sports Complex at 6 pm.