Sailfish Come Out Swinging with 11-Run Outburst in Victory Over Valdosta State

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Sailfish Catcher Travis Murray (Pictured, Center) Gets Congrats from His Teammates on Friday Night as Part of His 4-for-5 Night at the Plate with Two Runs Scored. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Sailfish Catcher Travis Murray (Pictured, Center) Gets Congrats from His Teammates on Friday Night as Part of His 4-for-5 Night at the Plate with Two Runs Scored. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

LANTANA, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team welcomed in Valdosta State University on Friday night for the first of three games this weekend at the Santaluces Complex as the two teams will hook up for a double-header on Saturday. Friday’s outcome left the Sailfish feeling good about their chances on Saturday as they earned an 11-5 win over the Blazers behind a solid 16-hit performance and a shutdown bullpen effort.

Junior left-hander Jonathan Kies relieved Palm Beach Atlantic (7-3) starter TJ Harbuck after 4.2 innings of work as the Blazers were threatening what was a 6-5 Sailfish lead. Kies responded nicely with a strikeout to end the threat followed by three more scoreless innings of work as he earned his first victory of the season.

The early part of the game saw both teams threaten to score nearly each frame that passed by.

The Sailfish scored one run in the first on a Luis Mejia run-scoring double before the Blazers (5-6) bounced back with three runs of their own in the top of the second inning.

Freshman catcher Bryant Hayman delivered a run-scoring double for VSU in the inning while coming in to score later in the frame on a botched pickoff attempt. Zachary Rios legged out an infield single to keep the rally going which allowed Buster Jackson to come in to score to move the visitors from Valdosta, Georgia up 3-1.

PBA got a run closer in their half of the second as Matt Perkowski looped in a double that scored teammate Cody Higgins from first-base as he sprinted all the way around the bases as there were two outs on the short popup.

The Fish broke through with a big inning in the third as Mejia started the frame with a single followed by singles from Travis Murray and Justin Sizemore, the latter scoring the tying run. A double-steal put two runners in scoring position for Brooks Fleming who managed a sacrifice fly while Ethan Perla and Cody Higgins then drove in a run each with run-scoring singles.

A leadoff single by Christian Glisson in the fifth for Valdosta State then opened the door for a long two-run homerun by Cameron Graves. This big blow effectively ended the night for Harbuck who went 4.2 innings while allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

After the two-run homer by Glisson drew the Blazers to within one run at 6-5, the Fish promptly answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning as Fleming registered another RBI single while a balk brought home the second score.

PBA added on two more runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to extend their lead while Andres Lopez threw a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the win for Kies.
The middle of the order really came through for PBA on the night as Murray finished 4-for-5 with a pair of runs scored out of the cleanup spot while Sizemore produced a big night as well with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate including two runs scored.

Perkowski set the table once again at the top as he reached base four times with three hits and a walk. Mejia and Higgins each added in a pair of hits.

The Blazers finished with 10 hits including two by Graves and Rios.

The two teams will square off again tomorrow in a double-header beginning at 1 pm at the Santaluces Complex.

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