Pitching the Name of the Game for PBA as They Conclude Saturday Sweep of Barry University

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

Box Score

MIAMI SHORES, Fla.- The Sailfish baseball team got exactly what they needed on Saturday which was a pair of solid outings from their starting pitchers while on their way to a pair of victories to earn a series win over Barry University at Feinbloom Field. Dodging rain drops for most of the day the Fish rode a dominant complete-game effort from Nic Kovacs to earn a 4-1 win in the opener while Jonathan Kies went seven strong innings in the nightcap to help set up an 8-4 win in extra innings to capture the series victory.

The pair of wins gives the Sailfish a season record of 20-21 with three games remaining next weekend when Palm Beach Atlantic travels to St. Petersburg, Florida for a three-game set with Eckerd College.

The losses for Barry puts their record at 20-22 with three games remaining in their season next weekend at Florida Tech.

Game One

Kovacs appeared to get stronger as the game went along as the junior right-hander tallied a career-high of 11 strikeouts while limiting the Buccaneers offense to just five hits over the course of nine innings.

The Bucs would strike first however as the Sailfish attempted to push across their first run of the series following Friday night’s shutout by Barry right-hander Kevin Youst.

Barry second-baseman Andy Ruiz led off the third with a doublefollowed by a single from Julio Ramos and a fielder’s choice RBI from Michael Slabach.

PBA got on the board finally in the fifth inning all be it after two outs and nobody on. Vaughn Bryan collected a hustle double followed by a RBI single from Justin Sizemore to tie the game at 1-1. Moving up on the throw to the plate, Sizemore would eventually come in to score himself on a Luis Mejia RBI single to move the Fish in front 2-1.

Palm Beach Atlantic would add on insurance runs in the seventh and ninth innings as Kovacs came back out for the final frame in the ninth.

Perhaps energized by collecting his first at-bat of the season after being entered into the lineup as a hitter, Kovacs struck out all three of the Barry batters in the ninth to close out the win to even the series.

Jordan Wellander (5-5) was solid on the mound for Barry but was the tough-luck loser following a 6.1 inning outing where he allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits with two walks and one strikeout.

The Fish collected 13 hits in the win with Brian Walker pacing everyone with a 3-for-4 performance. Sizemore also produced a pair of hits as did Travis Murray and Johnny Cole.

Game Two

The Fish opted to go with the lefty Kies for game two as he hoped to back up the spectacular mound efforts of fellow junior, Nic Kovacs.

While not as dominant in terms of the strikeout, Kies (4-2) prove to be as equally effective as he went  seven plus innings with four runs (three earned) and three hits allowed including three walks and five strikeouts.

The Fish plated a single run in each of the first three innings including a Christian Correa RBI single in the second inning and a run-scoring triple from Matt Perkowski plating Johnny Cole from first-base in the third.

Now blessed with a 3-0 lead, Kies went back to work in the bottom of the fourth only to run into some trouble. He would walk the first two batters then a throwing error on a bunt by Kies allowed a run to score and left two more runners on with nobody out. The bases would be cleared soon there after as Slabach launched a 3-run homerun as BU shockingly took a 4-3 lead.

Things would remain 4-3 in favor of the Bucs until the sixth as a two-out double from Bryan plated a sprinting Walker from first-base as the Fish knotted the score at 4-4.

The pitching remained solid for both teams until the top of the eighth inning as extra innings would be needed to settle the series victor.

Facing BU reliever  Tyler Petsch the Fish would load the bases with one-out before Barry went with another relief pitcher in Calvin Rayburn.

Luis Mejia greeted the new BU hurler with a sacrifice fly followed by a RBI double from Sizemore and a two-run single from Cole to give the Fish a cushion.

After Kies walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the inning, head coach Kent Bottenfield would call upon Andres Lopez from the bullpen to close things out. Lopez would retire all three batters to finish things out.

After 13 hits in the opener of Saturday’s double-header, PBA would manage 12 more hits in game two as Cole finished 3-for-5 while Bryan, Correa and Walker each chipped in two hits apiece.

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