Late Inning Collapse Costs Sailfish the Game and Winning Streak
March 15, 2008
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.- 35 runs, 37 hits, 7 errors, and 6 homeruns. While these numbers might typically represent the total numbers for a highly offensive weekend series, that simply wasn’t the case on Saturday afternoon on the campus of St. Thomas University. The Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team and STU battled for over four hours in the opening game of a double-header which saw the Bobcats come out on top by a final tally of 19-16.
In what looked more like a football score, the Bobcats rallied late with ten runs in the bottom of the seventh inning while facing three different Sailfish relievers after PBA entered the inning with a 14-6 lead.
With the wind blowing out for most of the afternoon and temperatures reaching the low 90’s, offensive conditions were a plenty for the two teams to feast on.
Things started out very well for the Fish who entered the game having won their last six ballgames. PBA scored five runs in the first inning for the second consecutive day against St. Thomas which witnessed the Fish go on for a 10-5 victory on Friday evening.
St. Thomas would tack on three runs in the third inning followed by three more in the fifth to keep the game close. PBA seemingly would put the game out reach by scoring four times in the sixth inning followed closely by two more in the seventh to put the score at 14-6.
After second-baseman Mariano Jimenez (Bradenton, Fla.) walked to open the sixth, right-fielder Nick Norley (N. Palm Beach, Fla.) would soon follow with a single, setting the stage for the Sailfish heart of the order. Zach Grau (Kalamazoo, Mich.) would follow with a long three-run homerun that sailed over the right-field fence that gave the Fish a large lead.
Tony Livelsberger, PBA’s cleanup hitter for much of the season and a native of Hanover, Pennsylvania, gave the Fish back-to-back homers as he followed Grau’s with a solo shot of his own.
Six PBA hitters connected for at least two hits on the day with Jimenez and Grau leading the way with three hits each. Grau finished the ballgame with four runs driven in. Third-baseman Joaquin Valdes (Miami, Fla.) connected for only one hit, a solo homerun to lead off the eighth inning, but did score three runs and drive in two more on the afternoon.