Friday Night Slugfest Falls NSU Way as Fish Come Up Just Short
April 22, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
DAVIE, Fla.- Despite out-hitting and out-homering the Nova Southeastern University baseball team on Friday evening at the NSU Baseball Complex, the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball squad would fall one run short as they dropped an 11-10 back-and-forth contest to open up a three-game series between the two rivals. The two teams will get together for a double-header on Saturday at Dave Manzo Field in what will ultimately decide the season series.
Sailfish junior Luis Mejia cracked two long homeruns on the night and was joined by teammates Matt Civetti and Travis Murray in the long-ball category as the Fish cranked four round-trippers and a total of 12 hits and 10 runs.
NSU slugged three homers themselves as they jumped out 7-3 after three innings of play after a five-run third frame that saw Daniel Petibone launch a three-run shot and A.J. Regoli lift a long flyball over the right-field fence for an opposite-field two run homerun.
Neither Friday night starter would fair well in this one as NSU starter and former Sailfish pitcher Issac Hicks would be chased after four innings by allowing seven hits and seven earned runs while walking four and striking out one. PBA starter Logan Thomas would settle down after his five-run third frame and finish with 5.2 innings of work but still allowed nine runs (six earned) on seven hits with three walks and no strikeouts.
After both starters tossed a scoreless first inning, Palm Beach Atlantic (23-19) got on the board with two runs in the second inning as Jorge Chavarria lifted a long opposite-field double that plated Civetti and Ethan Perla.
Back came the Sharks (28-13) however in the bottom of the inning when catcher Haven Fitzsimmons polished off a two-run homerun to right-field to knot the score at 2-2.
Mejia answered the Sharks rally with one swing to lead off the third inning as he launched his first longball over the left-field wall for a 3-2 lead.
Back came the Sharks with their big inning in the bottom of the third inning that appeared to give them some breathing room.
That would be quickly erased by the Sailfish offense however in the top of the fourth inning as they tied the contest at 7-7 thanks to a leadoff homer from Civetti and a long three-run bomb by Mejia that sailed deep into the Davie night for a game-tying shot.
With Thomas putting up zeroes in the fourth and fifth innings, the Sailfish would take a lead in the top of the fifth as Yogi Gunther came in to score on a wild pitch for an 8-7 lead.
Murray added to the lead an inning later by leading off the inning with a solo shot to left-field, the third time in the game PBA led off an inning with a solo homerun.
It would remain 9-7 in favor of the Sailfish for only a short time however as NSU tied the game in the sixth inning as freshman second-baseman Carlos Asuaje ripped an a two-out, two-run double into the gap that would end the night for Thomas and give the Sharks new life.
Freshman reliever Byron Skinner would enter for PBA and put out the fire as he got Luis Penate to fly out for the final out of the inning.
PBA once again fought back in the top of the seventh inning as Ethan Perla reached on a walk, was sacrificed to second-base by Chavarria, and then eventually came in on a Mejia RBI groundout as the Fish now led 10-9.
The game changed drastically in the bottom of the inning as an odd play transpired to set up the Sharks game-winning hit. After Andrew Durden singled with one out and Fitzsimmonds flied out for the second-out it appeared as if the Fish might get out of the inning unscathed when a check swing by Regoli was ruled to have held up and then with Durden attempting to advance to third also called safe despite a PBA argument the inning would continue.
Skinner would have to face the heavy-hitting Dusty Maggs who lined a double into the left-centerfield gap that plated both runners as NSU took an 11-10 lead.
NSU relievers Chris Roman and Sean Albury closed out the game in the final two frames as PBA was unable to put together a rally to push across a game-tying run.
Tori Eckey (3-1) earned the win by going 2.1 innings of relief and allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) with a walk. Skinner (1-2) was given the loss as he allowed two hits and two runs in a full inning of work.
Every PBA starting offensive player registered at least one hit with Mejia leading the way with a 2-for-5 night, both hits being homers, with five runs batted in total. Murray and Civetti each finished 2-for-5 as well with a long ball to their credit. Chavarria was 1-for-1 with a sacrifice and a career-high four walks.
Nova saw two hits each from Durden and Regoli with Regoli scoring three times.
The two teams will square off on Saturday afternoon at Dave Manzo Field beginning at 1 pm. Both games will be broadcast on the Sailfish Sports Network.