Ninth Inning Magic Strikes Again for PBA Baseball in Defeat of Ave Maria
February 6, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
AVE MARIA, Fla.- It would take until their final at-bat for the second time in four games to start the season but the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team once again came away with a late rally to secure a 5-3 win over Ave Maria University on Monday afternoon at Bowie’s Ballpark. On what was an overcast day, the team received another strong starting pitching assignment, this time from junior Nic Kovacs with junior Alejandro De Moya closing the door in the ninth for the win.
With coach Kent Bottenfield and his staff still looking to mix-and-match their early season lineups, the team tallied a total of 11 hits on the day including eight hits from their 1-4 hitters.
A leadoff single from junior Matt Perkowski got the Sailfish (3-1) started before a two-out RBI single from senior catcher Travis Murray plated the team’s first run.
Things would remain 1-0 in favor of Palm Beach Atlantic until the bottom of the fourth inning when Ave Maria (2-5) first-baseman Nick Sacchetta delivered a single to plate Alex Sanchez with the game-tying score.
The Fish would quickly respond with a two-spot in the top of the fifth inning as Perkowski was hit by a pitch and came around to score on an error while Murray cashed in on a sacrifice fly to plate Cody Higgins for a 3-1 Sailfish lead.
The Gyrenes would add on a run in the sixth on a Sacchetta RBI double and then another run in the seventh on a Sanchez run-scoring single off PBA reliever Jonathan Kies.
Senior Jeremiah Cothiere would enter in relief and retire the next two hitters to get the Blue and White out of the jam.
Moving ahead to the ninth inning, the Fish would start the rally with a one-out walk of Higgins followed by Luis Mejia’s third hit of the day on a single to left-field. A Murray base-knock would then follow before the go-ahead run came home to score on Nick Natale’s RBI single.
The Fish would add an insurance run on an Ethan Perla fielder’s choice.
De Moya closed out the Ave Maria hopes with a scoreless ninth as he struck out three in 1.1 innings of work while collecting the win.
Kovacs was strong in his starting debut after collecting the win in relief on opening night of Thursday’s home opening win over Lynn University. Kovacs went 6.1 innings while allowing three earned runs on seven hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts.
Mejia finished 3-for-5 with a run scored while Higgins and Murray each collected two hits. Murray drove in a pair of runs in the win while Perkowski and Higgins each scored two runs atop the PBA lineup.
PBA will have off from game action until Friday, February 9th when they will host Flagler College at 6 pm followed by a double-header at 1 pm on Saturday. All three games will be played at the Roger Dean Complex in Jupiter, Florida on the Marlins Quad.