PBA Baseball Collects Two Tight Wins to Claim Weekend Series Over Eckerd College
March 5, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
LAKE WORTH, Fla.- A two-run double by junior catcher Travis Murray in the bottom of the ninth inning and a solid seven inning outing from T.J. Harbuck and Jimmy Kelly helped propel the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team to a Saturday sweep of Eckerd College at Dave Manzo Field. The two-game sweep helped offset Friday night’s loss to the Tritons as PBA improves to 12-6 on the season.
Trailing 5-4 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Sailfish (12-6) rallied for the second straight Saturday afternoon at home versus a member of the Sunshine State Conference after pulling out a similar win last Saturday versus Saint Leo University on a Luis Mejia game-winner.
This time it was Murray who was 0-for-3 entering his final at-bat as he ripped a 2-2 pitch from EC reliever Robbie Nabers into the left-field corner that sent pinch-runner Michael Lyon easily around to score the game-tying run and then quickly followed by Nick Natale who slid in home for the exciting 5-4 victory.
Both starting pitchers in the opener worked in and out of trouble throughout the afternoon as they looked to avoid the big inning. PBA’s Jeremiah Cothiere (2-0) went 6.1 innings while allowing nine hits and four runs (three earned) as he was lifted in the seventh inning for left-hander Alejandro De Moya.
Eckerd would counter with Alex Menendez who would be sent to the showers after 5.1 innings of work as he allowed eight hits and three earned runs while walking two and striking out none.
The Tritons (8-6) would hold the early lead as they pushed across a run in the top of the first inning as a sharp grounder took a funny hop off the lip of the grass at third-base and bounced off PBA’s Taylor Karpives’ body into left-field for an RBI double from Dan Capra.
The 1-0 EC advantage would be where things remained until the Tritons added to their lead with a heads up base-running play from David Regidor as he sprinted home from third-base on a tapper back to the mound.
The Fish got that run back however in the bottom of the inning as Mejia drove in Natale on a sacrifice fly to cut into the Tritons lead at 2-1.
Both teams would tack on additional runs in the middle innings as PBA added a single run in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. Johnny Cole laced an RBI single in the fifth while Jorge Chavarria got into the act with a run-scoring single of his own in the sixth inning. PBA added another run in the seventh when Natale was hit by a pitch, stole second-base, and then came in on a RBI single from Mejia.
The Tritons would continue to be pesky however as they earned the lead back with a RBI double from Stpehen Pelc on a draw-in infield in the top of the eighth inning to go ahead 5-4.
Nabers would silence the Sailfish in the eighth and went back out for the ninth in hope for the save. That dream would be shattered however as the Sailfish put together their rally.
Cole drew a one-out walk and was replaced by Lyon as a pinch-runner. Another walk to Natale put the potential go-ahead run on as Murray then stepped in and smoked his game-winner just inside the chalk on the third-base line and into the corner as Lyon and Natale each motored around for the game tying and go-ahead run.
De Moya earned the win, his second of the season, while finishing out the game for Cothiere as the lefty went 2.2 innings while allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts.
Murray and Megia each drove in a pair of runs with Mejia scoring a run while Chavarria finished 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Regidor and Capra both finished with three hits in the loss for Eckerd.
Game two was a pre-determined seven inning contest as Harbuck matched up with EC right-hander Jake Wilder. Although both would run into their fair share of base runners, each would work out of trouble effectively to give their team a chance to win.
This time it would be PBA who would scratch out an early lead as Natale and Murray doubled on back-to-back hits for a 1-0 Sailfish lead.
The Tritons would tie the contest in the top of the second inning as a leadoff walk to Capra came back to haunt Harbuck as he scored on an error in the PBA infield.
It would be the bottom of the third frame for PBA where the final offensive scoring of the day would take place as Taylor Kaprive’s leadoff single would see him advance on a few outs by PBA hitters and then come in to score what would turn out to be the game-winning run on a wild pitch.
Wilder went the distance as he took his first loss of the season as he drops to 2-1. He finished with seven hits allowed in six innings with two earned runs coming home to score with three strikeouts and one free pass.
Harbuck worked around six walks while claiming five strikeouts in his five innings as he allowed only three hits and one run (zero earned). Kelly collected his third save by scattering three hits in two innings while earning two strikeouts.
Yogi Gunther finished 2-for-3 in the game as the only PBA hitter to register a multi-hit game.
Palm Beach Atlantic will now begin a barrage of games at home next week versus teams on Spring Break. They open up on Tuesday, March 8th versus Wilmington University at 6 pm at Dave Manzo Field.