PBA Comes Up Short in Double-Header Versus Lynn University
March 17, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
LANTANA, Fla.- After Friday afternoon’s marathon game versus Lynn University in Boca Raton that ended being a suspended game due to darkness, the Sailfish baseball team returned to action on Saturday for a pair of games against the Knights at the Santaluces Complex. In both games the Knights jumped out in front early and then held off against late Sailfish rallies with LU coming out on top 7-5 and 6-3 to earn the sweep.
Ranked No. 23 in the latest national poll, the Knights improved their season record to 16-7 with the pair of wins while the Sailfish drop to 10-8.
The Fish will now prepare for another busy week of action as they will take on Ave Maria University on Monday, March 19th at 7 pm and then again on Wednesday, March 21st at 7 pm when they host Nova Southeastern University.
Ryan Gibbard (4-1) took the hill for Lynn in game one and responded with an outstanding outing of eight innings pitched while allowing only four hits and two earned runs while striking out a career-high of 10 batters.
The Knights ran into trouble once Gibbard exited the contest as A.J. Falleta went two-thirds of an inning while walking a pair and allowing three earned runs to the Fish in the ninth inning.
Andre Colon was forced to come on in relief and after allowing a two-run single to PBA pinch-hitter Matt Wizniewski, Colon retired the final batter on a popup and secured his first save.
PBA sent starter Nic Kovacs (3-1) to the mound and although Kovacs didn’t pitch terribly he was roughed up for ten hits and seven runs (six earned) in his five innings of work. He would walk one and strike out two.
Four PBA pitchers each tallied an inning each out of the bullpen with none allowing a run.
A scoreless contest until the top of the fourth inning, the Knights broke through with four runs in the top of the fourth thanks to a 2-run double by third-baseman Cory Elasik and a two-run single by Austin Smith.
They would add on three more runs in the fourth as Jason Matusik provided a RBI single and Elasik ripped a two-run homerun to move ahead 7-0.
The Fish finally broke through for a run in the sixth inning as Justin Sizemore tripled and then came in to score on a wild pitch.
A solo homerun by pinch-hitter Matt Civetti added a run for PBA in the eighth inning while the big showing in the ninth left the Fish just short. Vaughn Bryan produced a RBI single to go along with Wizniewski’s two-run single.
Mike Diorio finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored for Lynn in the game while Elasik wrapped up his big game with a 3-for-5 showing including four runs driven in.
The Fish squared off against three Lynn pitchers in game two as starter Jerad Harvey was chased following two plus innings while Austin Bailey (3-2) and Joe Perrotta added in solid work to close out the win.
PBA countered with junior TJ Harbuck (1-2) who went the first 5.2 innings while allowing eight hits and five runs (four earned) as he walked five and struck out five on the day.
The Knights jumped in front 4-0 in the first inning as Matusik connected for a run-scoring single while another run came in to score following an error. Paul Stortini added a 2-run double in the frame as well to give the Knights an early cushion.
From there Harbuck would settle in and not allow another run until the top of the sixth inning.
Palm Beach Atlantic began to chip away at the lead with a run in the second inning on a Brooks Fleming RBI triple while two more came home to score in the third as senior Luis Mejia lifted his first homerun of the spring long beyond the left-field fence.
Mejia’s blast would be the final runs of the day however as the Fish stranded six runners in the final four innings as Perrotta closed things out for his third save of the season.
With the score 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning and the bases loaded and two outs, Fleming appeared to be hit by a pitch which would have put the score at 6-4 with the potential tying run in scoring position. The Fish fortunes would quickly turn however as the home plate umpire ruled that Fleming did not make an effort to get out of the way of the pitch and he had to return to the plate.
Perrotta finished off Fleming with a big strikeout as the Knights escaped with the 6-3 win.
Sizemore finished 3-for-4 for the Sailfish in game two while Ethan Perla also added in three hits including a double. Mejia and catcher Travis Murray each produced two hits.