Harbuck's Gem Leads Palm Beach Atlantic to Baseball Split with Warner
February 4, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- After a rough first game where not much seemed to go right for the Palm Beach Atlantic baseball team, the Sailfish turned to junior right-hander T.J. Harbuck in hopes of earning a Saturday split against Warner University. Fresh off an 11-4 defeat, the Fish responded by witnessing a solid Harbuck outing that saw the Ormond Beach native go into the final inning with a no-hitter intact before settling for a combined shutout with closer Alejandro De Moya and a 4-0 PBA win.
With the split the Fish close out their first week with a 2-1 record following their exciting 3-2 win on Thursday night in the team’s season-opening victory over Lynn University at Roger Dean Stadium.
It will be a quick turnaround for the team as they will travel to Ave Maria University on Monday, February 6th to square off against the Gyrenes for a 2 pm matinee. Those that cannot make the game can tune in to an audio broadcast on the Sailfish Sports Network.
Trailing 1-0 following a first-inning run, the Fish fell behind by a big margin in the third inning as the Royals (3-3) tagged PBA starter Andres Lopez (0-1) for six runs (five earned) that included an Adrian Kaplan 2-run double that would chase Lopez from the game.
PBA reliever Jeremiah Cothiere would register a strikeout to the first batter he faced in the inning before allowing a 2-run single to Brandon Kirby that broke the inning and game open.
The Royals would tack on single runs in each of the next four innings as they pushed their advantage to as large as ten runs. John McVey, Kaplan, and James Krupa provided the big blows with solo homeruns in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings respectively.
PBA got on the board in the sixth as pinch-hitter Brooks Fleming drilled a two-run homer to left-field while junior Matt Perkowski slammed his first round-tripper in a PBA uniform by going opposite-field to left-center for a two-run shot in the seventh inning.
Following Lopez and Cothiere were freshman Robbie Pettet, senior Kenny Frosch, and freshman Kennie Silvestri each logging an inning in relief.
Dylan Heiring went five innings for the Royals to pick up his second win of the young season as he struck out three batters while walking two.
Cody Higgins was the only PBA batter to register a multi-hit game as he finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.
After a rough go of things in the opening game, the Sailfish saw a much better team performance in the night-cap starting with their hurler in Harbuck.
Harbuck finished with six strikeouts and didn’t allow a hit until a leadoff double in the top of the seventh inning by WU left-fielder Dylan Gross.
An infield hit two batters later would officially end Harbuck’s evening as the Fish turned to De Moya who retired the next two hitters, one on a foul popup and the final batter on a strikeout as he nailed down his first save.
Perkowski followed up his game one where he went deep with a 2-for-3 showing in the second game while Nick Natale also produced a multi-hit game at 2-for-3.
The Fish got on the board in the first inning for the second time in three games this season as senior Luis Mejia smoked a ball back up the box for a single that plated Perkowski who doubled earlier in the frame.
Natale provided the biggest offensive blow of the ballgame when he smacked a two-out, two-run triple into the right-centerfield gap that one-hopped the fence and plated both Mejia and Travis Murray. Matt Civetti added in a RBI single to plate Natale for the 4-0 lead.
The tandem of Harbuck and De Moya would take care of the rest as PBA held on for the victory.
Aaron Kehres earned the loss for the Royals as he went four innings while allowing seven hits and four runs while Warner got solid relief pitching from James Krupa and Ryan Ruble who each tallied a pair of strikeouts in their inning each of work.