Grau Shines on the Mound but Spartans Take Series Sweep of Sailfish

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Box Score

TAMPA, Fla.- Despite a solid outing by senior Zach Grau, the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team was unable to salvage a win during the three-game series with the University of Tampa that concluded late Saturday afternoon.

A left-hander from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Grau registered six innings while allowing six hits to the #1 team in the nation while giving up four earned runs in a 4-3 Tampa victory.

The Spartans scored all four of their runs in the second inning in the night-cap of the double-header of action that saw Tampa take game one by a score of 16-4.

After freshman outfielder Jesse Gibbs (Port Republic, Md.) drove home junior Joaquin Valdes (Miami, Fla.) in the top-half of the second to give PBA their first lead of the series, the Spartans exploded for all the run support they would need with four runs in the bottom half of the inning.

UT catcher Leo Alvarez got things started for the Spartans with a one out single followed by a walk to Steven Broschofsky and a single for Casey Albanese, loading the bases for Tampa. A double down the right-field line scored both Alvarez and Broschofsky and put the Spartans ahead for good. After a wild-pitch and an RBI groundout for Jesus Barroso, the score stood at 4-1 in favor of the home-standing Spartans.

The Fish wouldn’t give up however and closed the gap immediately in their next time at-bat with two runs in the top of the third inning. After Mariano Jimenez (Bradenton, Fla.) singled, designated-hitter Tony Livelsberger (Hanover, Pa.) followed with his second homerun in as many days.

That would be all the offense the Sailfish could muster however as the Spartans nailed down their sixth win in as many chances to start the season by shutting down the Fish lineup for the final four innings.

Starting pitcher Scott Chapman earned the win on the mound for Tampa, his second of the season, by totaling five innings of work. Chapman wasn’t exactly dazzling in his efforts as he allowed 12 hits to the Fish before giving way to reliever Anthony Perez who completed the final two innings while allowing only one hit and striking out three.

Five PBA hitters tallied mutli-hit games in the series finale, led by Valdes who finished the game by going 3-3 while scoring a run. Livelsberger, Grau, Jimenez, and freshman catcher Josh Santos (Miramar, Fla.) all collected two hits apiece in the loss.

PBA will look to rebound from the weekend’s tough slate of games by traveling to Nova Southeastern University on Tuesday, February 12th for their second meeting of the young season with the Sharks. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm.

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