Murray's Walk-Off Single Caps a Special Night for PBA Baseball at Roger Dean Stadium
February 2, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
JUPITER, Fla.- With two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth inning of Thursday’s season opening game at Roger Dean Stadium, Palm Beach Atlantic University senior catcher Travis Murray delivered a walk-off single to lift the Sailfish to a 3-2 win over Lynn University. The situation and outcome seemed fitting as Palm Beach Atlantic head coach Gary Carter, who delivered in a similar situation in the 1986 World Series, was honored before the game with a standing ovation from the crowd.
With Cater battling brain cancer, his team honored their skipper with more than just a touching pregame ovation but also in finding a way to win in a late game situation.
Murray’s walk-off single capped what was a great ballgame played between the two Palm Beach County rivals that featured some top-notch defensive plays, solid pitching, and some timely hitting.
Senior right-hander Logan Thomas earned the starting nod for the Sailfish in the opening game and he proved more than capable of handling the task. Now in his fourth season at PBA from Melbourne, Florida, Thomas logged an impressive eight innings while saving his best work for last.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the eighth inning and Lynn having loaded the bases with nobody out, it wouldn’t appear that Thomas and the Fish could escape without giving up the lead. That all changed quickly however when Thomas tallied a strikeout of LU cleanup hitter Anthony Boza and then got Knights catcher Joe Sharkey to bounce into an inning-ending double-play as the PBA right-hander exited the mound with full emotion on display.
With momentum now on their side it would take until their final strike before PBA could taste victory as Murray’s slow groundball up the middle in the ninth inning snuck through the outstretched arms of a diving Kyle Radziewski, the Lynn shortstop.
The inning began with second-baseman Cody Higgins reaching on an error and moving ahead to second-base on a Luis Mejia groundout. Pinch-runner Jordan Carter would alertly swipe third-base before scoring on the Murray single.
Palm Beach Atlantic got on the board first as they plated a run in the bottom half of the first inning. Higgins began the game with a walk before moving to second-base on a Matt Perkowski single. Murray delivered a sacrifice fly later in the inning to give PBA the 1-0 lead.
Things would remain 1-0 in favor of the Fish until the top of the third inning as Alex Bello led off with a triple and then came in to tie the game on a Kamm Washington run-scoring single.
Lynn took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning as Cory Elasick singled then stole second and third base before coming in to score on a Jason Matusik sacrifice fly.
PBA tied things up in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Justin Sizemore sacrifice fly that plated Perkowski for a 2-1 Sailfish lead.
Both teams would have their chances down the stretch to plate a go-ahead run but it wouldn’t be until Murray’s single in the ninth that the outcome would be decided.
Sailfish junior Nic Kovacs earned the win in relief for PBA as he tossed a scoreless top half of the ninth while walking one and striking out one.
Thomas went eight strong innings while allowing seven hits and two earned runs. He would strike out five while walking three batters.
The Fighting Knights saw three pitchers go to the hill with each tallying multiple innings. Shawn Kale went the first four frames while allowing one unearned run on three hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Andre Colon followed with three innings as he gave up one run and three hits. Jason Whalen took the loss after allowing the Murray single.
Both teams would register seven hits in the game as LU second-baseman Mike Diorio and Elasik the third-baseman each tallied two hits. Mejia finished 2-for-5 on the PBA side.
Palm Beach Atlantic will host Warner University on Saturday at 3 pm for their next outing. The two teams will battle at Palm Beach Gardens High School in two seven inning contests. Those fans who cannot make it out in person can follow the game through a live broadcast on the Sailfish Sports Network.