Bobcat Bats End Up Stronger than Sailfish in Midweek Slugfest

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Box Score

LAKE WORTH, Fla.- Much like their previous meeting last month in Miami, the matchup between the Palm Beach Atlantic University and St. Thomas University baseball teams ended in a slugfest and unfortunately for Sailfish fans once again witnessed the winning advantage come out on the Bobcats end.

On a beautiful night for baseball, the STU squad pounded out 16 hits as they turned a close game in the middle innings into a route over the Fish as they prevailed 14-7 over the recently-hot Sailfish.

Going 3-1 over last week’s games, head coach Rob Avila sent freshman Peter Rodriguez to the hill hoping to duplicate his performance against Lynn University one week prior. Rodriguez wouldn’t quite have the same stuff as he did against the Fighting Knights when he struck out eight batters over seven innings in a 5-2 PBA victory; instead he tallied four innings while allowing eight hits and seven earned runs while also walking three batters.

Relievers Brett hammann, Douglas Grahm and Billy Schmidt didn’t fare much better against the dangerous Bobcats lineup as the trio surrendered six runs over the final five innings of play although only three were earned.

Both teams got the bats going in the early going as STU jumped ahead with an early 3-0 cushion in the first inning for starting pitcher Jesus Blanco. That wouldn’t phase the Fish however as they too posted a three spot in their first at-bat that knotted up the score after a long first frame.

Senior second-baseman Mariano Jimenez got things rolling for the Sailfish with a leadoff double and came around to score on a ball that wasn’t fielded cleanly by the Bobcats first-baseman on a hit by Mark Jarvis. After a beautiful bunt single from senior Zach Grau and a strikeout of Tony Livelsberger, the St. Thomas catcher would make an errant throw trying to pickoff Jarvis that allowed the PBA senior outfielder to come in easily to score the Sailfish second run.

A sacrifice fly from freshman Jesse Gibbs brought home the final run for PBA in the first.

After STU connected for another pair in the third inning and the Sailfish pushing across single runs in the second and third, both teams would once again gear up for another big inning in the fourth inning.

St. Thomas pushed across three runs followed by two more from the Sailfish side to keep the game close at 8-7. A bases-loaded walk to Joaquin Valdes and a run-scoring single from Gibbs plated the two runs for the Fish.

That would be all the scoring the Sailfish would do the rest of the way as St. Thomas continued to pressure the defense and tack on to their lead, eventually pulling away with four runs in the final two innings.

PBA had their chances nearly every inning including back-to-back innings where they loaded the bases with nobody out but were unable to score.

Leadoff hitter Juan Santana collected only two hits for the visiting Bobcats but both proved to be big blows the Sailfish chances at victory as he connected for two homeruns including his second shot reaching well beyond the left-field fence.

Grau continued to swing a hot bat for the Fish as he finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs scored with a double. Valdes earned three walks for PBA.

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