Fish Dealt a Dissapointing Blow in Saturday Sweep at the Hands of FSC
April 16, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Communications
LAKELAND, Fla.- This weekend’s three-game series between Palm Beach Atlantic and Florida Southern College won’t soon be forgotten by those on hand for a beautiful two days of baseball at historic Henley Field. After an exciting 14-inning victory on Friday night left PBA with the momentum, the Moccasins snatched it right back with a pair of late inning comebacks on Saturday to sweep the Sailfish 10-9 and 11-7 and take the series.
The Sailfish (23-16) led 9-7 with two outs in the ninth and closer Alejandro De Moya on the mound in game one. A long two-run homer by Zach Maggard would dash the hopes of Sailfish fans of a road series win as it tied the score and gave the Mocs new life. They would win it with a tenth inning walk-off hit by Trey Mitchell.
The Moccasins (26-9), ranked No. 14 in the latest NCBWA polls, would turn a six-run sixth inning into a come-from-behind 11-7 win in game two.
De Moya would be tagged with the loss in game one despite a gutsy effort of pitching on back-to-back days for multiple innings each time.
A back-and-forth contest throughout, the Fish struck first in the top of the first inning as Luis Mejia drove home Jorge Chavarria who connected for a one-out triple to the right-field corner.
After a scoreless bottom half that saw Sailfish starter T.J. Harbuck strike out the side, the Mocs took advantage of a few PBA defensive miscues in the second inning as they plated three runs to move in front 3-1.
Back came the Sailfish in the top of the third however as they put up a four spot thanks to in part to a pair of Moccasins errors while freshman Jordan Carter delivered a two-run double as the biggest hit of the inning as PBA pushed ahead 5-3.
The Sailfish pushed their lead to 7-3 in the top of the fourth inning as freshman Brooks Fleming and Taylor Kaprive cracked back-to-back homeruns to left-field against FSC starter Stephen Batman.
After a single run came home in the bottom of the inning to draw the Mocs closer at 7-4, the Fish once again took the lead back to four runs when Kaprive beat out an infield single to plate Carter who had led off the inning with a single.
FSC first-baseman Tyler Benzel added in an RBI single to get the Mocs within striking distance once again in the bottom of the fifth as the score was then 8-5.
The sixth inning went scoreless for both teams but not without some excellent relief pitching from PBA junior left-hander Kenny Frosch. Relieving Harbuck with nobody out and runners at first and second base, Frosch got the 2-4 hitters in the vaunted FSC lineup out in succession to keep PBA in the lead.
With the Florida Southern bullpen settling in against the Sailfish offense, Frosch returned for the seventh inning but would be tagged with a long two-run homerun from Benzel that brought the home team within one run at 8-7. A triple would follow from Colin Kish but three straight groundouts would follow for the Mocs as they were unable to get the tying run home.
Heading to the ninth inning, Matt Civetti added an insurance run with a long solo homer to set up what the Fish would hope to be a drama-free ninth inning. Unfortunately for fans of the Blue and White, a leadoff walk from De Moya to Tony Mitchell began the frame and with two outs Maggard launched a no-doubt shot over the left-field wall for the game-tying homer.
Patrick Szczerba retired the Fish in the top of the tenth and a bases-loaded single from Trey Mitchell in the tenth inning off Graham White would end the contest at 10-9 for the second consecutive game of the series ending in extra innings.
White drops to 2-2 on the season while Szczerba improves to 3-0.
The Fish outhit the Mocs by a tally of 18-15 with Perla, Carter, and Civetti each collecting three hits.
Benzel had a monster game for FSC with a 4-for-5 showing including three runs driven in and two runs scored.
The final game of the three game series followed suit with the previous two games as it became a battle of the bullpens.
PBA junior Jeremiah Cothiere gave the Sailfish 5.1 innings while being tagged for seven runs before handing the ball on to Byron Skinner with runners at the corners in the bottom of the sixth inning. Skinner did not throw a strike as he issued a walk on four-pitches to Kelvin Clark to load the bases.
Frosch made his second appearance of the day and was greeted by a two-run double from Mike Snyder which tied the game at 7-7. An intentional walk to Benzer would follow as would a non-intentional pass to Colin Kish who pushed across the go-ahead run to move ahead 8-7.
The big hit of the inning came next from Maggard who drilled a bases-clearing triple to push the Mocs ahead 11-7.
As they did in game one, the Fish jumped out early on the Mocs with PBA leading 5-1 after three innings of play. Johnny Cole smacked a RBI single in the top of the first inning while Ethan Perla contributed a run-scoring groundout in the second inning to stake Cothiere to the 2-0 lead.
The Mocs cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second inning with a RBI triple from Kish then Civetti launched his second homerun of the day over the left-field fence to push PBA on top by a 5-1 mark.
Jimmy Correnti lined a ball off Kaprive’s glove in the bottom of the fourth inning to plate one run followed by another run coming home on a throw-away by Kaprive after the fact. A Colin Kaline sacrifice fly scored the final run of the inning to move FSC within one run at 5-4.
They would tie the score in the bottom of the fifth inning on a solo homerun by Benzel, his second of the day.
It appeared as if the Fish would once again be close to claiming a late inning victory when Carter led off the sixth inning with a solo blast then Chavarria smoked a run-scoring double down the left-field line that scored Perla from first base and put PBA up once again 7-5.
Give the Mocs credit however as they forced their way back into the game, tying the score on Snyder’s double and moving on top with Maggard’s bases-clearing triple.
Eddie Sipple (6-3) tallied the win for the Mocs by throwing six innings, allowing nine hits and seven earned runs, walking none, and striking out eight batters. Nathan Carter picked up an inning of scoreless work in the seventh to close things out.
Palm Beach Atlantic managed ten hits in game two with Mejia’s 3-for-4 performance leading the way. Chavarria and Carter each registered two hits in the loss.
Benzel closed out his impressive series with a 3-for-3 showing in game two including a double and a homerun in game two.
Skinner was handed the loss to drop to 1-1 on the season.
Palm Beach Atlantic will continue to battle against Sunshine State Conference competition by taking on Florida Tech in their next ballgame on Tuesday, April 19th at Dave Manzo Field. First pitch is slated for 6 pm.