PBA Rallies in Extras to Sweep DH with Eckerd
March 7, 2015
Written By: Kyler Ludlow, Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – It was a night to remember for Palm Beach Atlantic baseball on Saturday, coming from behind twice in extra-innings in the nightcap of their double header with Eckerd College to sweep the Tritons, winning by scores of 12-4 and 8-7 at Rubin Park.
After struggling to get offense going on Friday night, the Sailfish got the offense rolling almost right away in Game One, scoring five runs in the second inning and never looking back.
Peter Rivera led off the inning with a single and came around to score on a Hakeem Rhodes double. After a fielder’s choice and a single, freshman Jake Summey dropped a double into right field to make the score 2-0. A sacrifice fly increased the lead by a run, and then an Eckerd error brought in another. Brian Walker capped off the frame with an RBI double that brought the score to 5-0.
EC tried to chip away at the lead against starter Kyle Polaski (Win, 2-0), but every run they earned was answered back with authority by PBA. The Sailfish scored their sixth run in the fifth inning thanks to a bases loaded grounded, and then really bust the game open in the sixth.
With one out in the inning, Walker was hit by a pitch and almost immediately upon reaching first stole second. Andres Vazquez was walked and then Rivera took a hit by pitch and the Sailfish had the bases loaded. Facing a new pitcher, Rhodes cleared the base paths with his first career triple and opened the floodgates, swelling the lead to 10-3.
Palm Beach Atlantic wasn’t done, however, plating two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning thanks to Rivera’s RBI triple and yet another Rhodes run-scoring base knock.
Rhodes led the way for the Sailfish at the dish, going 4-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored, including a triple and a double. Rivera and freshman Ryan Johnson each added 2-for-4 performances, with Rivera scoring three runs and driving in another, while Johnson had a run and RBI in the game.
Polaski was tremendous on the hill, allowing just two earned runs over six and one-third innings to earn the “quality start”. The rookie struck out six while walking just two before handing the ball off to Phil DiLandro, who finished out the game for the ‘Fish.
With a lack of drama surrounding the first game Saturday, the Sailfish decided to provide enough to fill an entire week’s worth of games in one marathon of a nightcap. PBA jumped ahead early and even held a 4-1 lead going into the eighth inning, but ultimately it was a Sean Visconti single in the bottom of the 14th that gave Palm Beach Atlantic the double-header sweep.
It looked as if the Sailfish were going to pick up right where they left off in game one, scoring single tallies in both the first and second innings. Alas, the Tritons settled in and held the PBA offense at bay over the next four innings.
Palm Beach Atlantic tacked on two runs in the seventh inning thanks to a Chris Farrell RBI single and an Andres Vasquez run-scoring double, but things were about to get sticky for the ‘Fish.
PBA starter Tyler Scheuer was grooving on the mound through the first seven innings, allowing just one run in the first inning and throwing only 66 pitches. Tough fortunes fell his way in the eighth inning however, when a two-out error led to three runs coming across and tying the game.
Neither team was able to push a run across until the 12th frame, when the Tritons scorched an RBI single that scored a runner from first to take a brief 5-4 lead.
With one away in the inning, Jason Webb reached base with a walk and promptly stole second base to put himself into scoring position. Freshman Ryan Johnson, who entered the game late as a substitute, fell behind early and fought his way back into a full count before grounding a single back up the middle and scoring the game-tying run.
Eckerd wasn’t done, however, getting their 13th inning started with a wild pitch strikeout for a baserunner and then taking advantage of another wild pitch to get the runner in scoring position. A passed ball then moved the runner to third and another go-ahead run looked inevitable. After a strikeout for the first out of the inning, the Tritons took advantage of another PBA error to score the go-ahead run. After a hit-by-pitch put two runners aboard, Eckerd worked a double steal to perfection and a throwing error brought home a key insurance run, making the score 7-5.
Palm Beach Atlantic wouldn’t go away quietly, however, starting their half of the 13th with a Farrell Single followed by a Vazquez RBI double. Representing the tying run at second, Andres scampered home two batters later when Pat Kane singled to left field to once again tie the score. PBA wasn’t able to push Kane across for the win in the inning, but had clearly grabbed the momentum back from the Tritons.
Casey Kopec (Win, 2-0) came on in relief with a runner aboard and promptly induced a double play to give the inning two outs. After an infield single, the southpaw got a huge strikeout to end the inning and put a goose egg on the scoreboard.
Freshman Eddie Vicinanza provided the spark for the Sailfish in the 14th chapter of Game Two’s story, getting beaned with one out to provide a baserunner, and then stealing second to get himself into scoring position with two outs. That’s when sophomore Sean Visconti came through with the single down the left field line that gave Palm Beach Atlantic the hard-fought 8-7 win.
Aside from Visconti, who finished the game 3-for-7 with a run scored and the game-winning RBI, Farrell and Vazquez had with the most notable nights on offense. Farrell went 4-for-6 at the plate, scoring two runs and driving in another, while Vazquez put together a 5-for-7 performance with three runs batted in, two doubles, and a key run scored.
The game, like tonight’s article, was the longest for Palm Beach Atlantic this season, and gave the Sailfish their eighth win in nine games.
PBA returns to action on Monday when they welcome American International College to Rubin Park for a single game beginning at 6:00 pm.