Fighting Knights Take Advantage of Chances and Sweep PBA Baseball
April 17, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
BOCA RATON, Fla.- Picking up a suspended game that began just over a month ago, the Palm Beach Atlantic University and Lynn University baseball teams got together on Tuesday afternoon at the McCusker Complex for a makeshift double-header. With the sun beating down all afternoon it would be the Fighting Knights who would take advantage of the opportunities presented to them as they finished up a come-from-behind 9-8 win in 14 innings through game one and held on for a 3-2 win in game two.
The pair of victories improves Lynn’s season record to 29-11 as the No. 12-ranked team in the country while dropping PBA to 16-19. The Knights also complete the season series win over PBA as they earned victories in four of the five games.
Two more close losses have begun to pile up for the Sailfish who have now lost five games in a row dating back to their weekend series with Nova Southeastern University. The five losses have all been one-run losses with the exception of one game against NSU which the Fish lost by two runs.
In what can only be described as a crazy back-and-forth contest, the Sailfish and Knights wouldn’t be without drama on Tuesday as they extended their game from March 16th when the two squads had to settle for a suspended game due to darkness.
Tied 6-6 into the top of the 14th inning that restarted on Tuesday, the Fish pushed across two runs in the top of the inning thanks to a Lynn wild-pitch and a two-out RBI single from Ethan Perla to move in front 8-6.
With the team turning to junior Nic Kovacs hoping to pick up the win, the Fish and their fans would be left disappointed as the Knights would rally for three runs in the bottom of the 14th to secure the walk-off win by a 9-8 score.
The big inning began with Cory Elasik reaching on a PBA throwing error which was followed by a RBI single from Jason Matusik to cut the Fish lead to 8-7. After a popup in the infield gave the Fish their first out in the inning it was back-to-back singles that would load the bases as Alex Bello strolled to the plate for LU.
Bello would be retired on strikes by Kovacs to set up the final batter of the game. That batter was second-baseman Mike Dioro who tapped a groundball to PBA third-baseman Matt Perkowksi whose throw went to second-base where Brian Walker couldn’t handle the throw as the ball rolled into the outfield and allowed the tying and go-ahead run to score.
The unfortunate ending masked what was an intriguing game for both squads.
PBA’s Travis Murray ripped six hits in the game, five on March 16th and another to leadoff the 14th inning for the Fish as he pushed his season average back near the .400 mark for the season.
Senior Justin Sizemore gave the Fish what looked to be the lift they needed in the top of the 13th as he crushed a 2-run homerun to put PBA in front.
Unfortunately for the Sailfish however the Knights would post the first of their two rallies in the official game to tie the score in the bottom of the 13th inning which forced the suspended game.
Logan Thomas made the initial start and went 5.1 innings of work with seven hits allowed including four runs (three earned) with three walks and five strikeouts. He was opposed by LU’s Shawn Kale who posted nine strikeouts in seven innings as both pitcher’s did not factor in the decision.
The Sailfish collected 17 hits as a team in the loss with Murray leading the way with a 6-for-7 performance including three doubles. Perla was 3-for-6 including two runs scored while Sizemore was 2-for-7.
Matusik led the Knights with a 3-for-6 showing at the dish.
Jason Whalen finished the game on the hill for LU and posted his third win as he officially went four innings with six hits allowed and four runs (three earned).
After the back-and-forth nature of game one, the two teams returned to the diamond about 20 minutes after the conclusion of the opener for their regularly scheduled contest.
The pitching matchup was Jonathan Kies for the Sailfish and Whalen returning to work for the Knights.
A first inning run by the Knights set the tone until the top of the third inning when Michael Lyon walked, moved to second on a Sizemore single and came in to score against reliever Joe Perrotta who gave up a run-scoring single to Luis Mejia.
The Fish pushed their lead to 2-1 on a Brooks Fleming solo homerun in the top of the fourth inning as Kies continued to work well against the potent LU lineup.
The Knights would tie the score in the bottom of the fifth as Austin Smith produced a sacrifice fly RBI to knot the score at 2-2.
Kies would exit after 6.1 innings of work to reliever Andres Lopez as Kies allowed only two runs (one earned) on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Following Perrotta out of the LU bullpen after four innings of work was reliever Austin Bailey who allowed only one hit and no runs in two innings as he eventually claimed the win.
The go-ahead run against Lopez came in the bottom of the seventh inning as Anthony Boza came through for a RBI single after back-to-back singles with two outs.
Andre Colon produced his sixth save of the season for LU as he retired the Fish in order in the ninth.
PBA managed nine hits in the loss with a 2-for-4 showing by Vaughn Bryan and Brooks Fleming.
The Fish will now prepare for a weekend trip to the University of Tampa on Friday and Saturday, April 20-21.