Sailfish Knock Off No. 1-Ranked Tampa Before Rains Shorten the Day
April 21, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
TAMPA, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic baseball team evened up their series with the No. 1-ranked University of Tampa Spartans on Saturday with a 7-2 win after falling 5-0 on Friday evening. Unfortunately for the two teams, mother nature would wreak havoc on the remainder of the day as the rains would come and cause the cancellation of the final game of the series.
The Fish (17-20) would receive a strong starting assignment from junior pitcher Nic Kovacs as he held the potent Spartans (32-8) offense scoreless through the first six innings as his team clung to a 2-0 lead.
UT would chase Kovacs in the bottom of the seventh after he allowed two singles as senior Kenny Frosch (2-4) would enter from the PBA bullpen.
After Frosch struck out the first batter he faced for the second out of the seventh inning, the two runners moved up on a passed ball. Now both in scoring position, the Spartans tied the game on an Andrew Jones double down the left-field line as the score was knotted at 2-2.
The Sailfish would have an answer however and it wouldn’t take long as they plated four runs in the top of the eighth to move back in front by a more comfortable margin.
Facing UT reliever Preston Packrall (5-3), the Fish jumped out on the Spartans hurler as Ethan Perla drilled a leadoff double followed by a RBI double from Luis Mejia.
A sacrifice bunt would then follow by Travis Murray and a walk to Justin Sizemore as junior Matt Perkowski then ripped a 2-run triple to plate Mejia and Sizemore. Brooks Fleming would add in a sac fly to cap the PBA scoring with a 6-2 lead.
Sailfish junior right-hander Andres Lopez would post the final two innings on the hill for the Fish with Mejia adding in a RBI single in the top of the ninth for a PBA insurance run.
Kovacs posted 6.1 innings of work with seven hits allowed, two runs (one earned), two walks and no strikeouts. Lopez went two scoreless frames with two hits, two walks and two punchouts.
Much like Kovacs, UT starter Sean Berman did not factor in the decision as he was lifted after seven innings with six hits and two runs allowed with eight strikeouts.
Packrall allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits in his two innings while taking the loss.
Mejia was a solid 3-for-5 with two RBI’s in the win while Perkowski finished 2-for-4 with two runs driven in and two more scored.
The Sailfish will host Florida Memorial University on Tuesday, April 24th at 6 pm for their final home game of the season. The Fish and Lions will play at the Roger Dean Complex in Jupiter, Florida.