PBA Punches Ticket to NCCAA Nationals
May 9, 2015
Written By: Kyler Ludlow, Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Palm Beach Atlantic rode the right arm of senior Kennie Silvestri all the way to the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Regional Championship on Saturday evening, winning 4-0 in the tournament’s elimination game against Toccoa Falls at Rubin Park.
After the Sailfish saw a 7-2 lead slip away in the first game Silvestri came up huge for PBA in the nightcap, throwing a seven-inning gem, striking out six and scattering five base hits in the complete game shutout.
The victory gives Palm Beach Atlantic the NCCAA South Region Championship and advances them to the NCCAA National Tournament in Mason, Ohio from May 20-23.
Both teams struggled to get anything going on the offensive side at the outset of the game, with the Eagles getting just one hit over the first four innings and the Sailfish not getting their first hit until the fourth.
Peter Rivera got a fourth-inning rally started with a double to right-center field, and after Pat Kane was hit by a pitch, Ryan Johnson laced a single off the pitcher that scurried past the shortstop and brought home the first run of the game. Jason Webb then came through with a two-run double down the right field line to put the ‘Fish up 3-0.
Senior Chris Farrell came to the plate one inning later and launched his seventh homer of the campaign to bring the PBA total to four.
Toccoa Falls threatened in both the fifth and seventh innings, but a tailor-made double play started by Silvestri and executed perfectly by Sean Visconti up the middle ended the game and Eagles’ threat.
Palm Beach Atlantic appeared to have the regional championship sign, sealed and delivered thanks to the pitching of Josh Turner in the opener. The junior right-hander struck out eight and held a 7-2 lead going into the final frame.
Toccoa Falls rallied for five runs on four hits with two walks thrown in to take an 8-7 lead, and the Sailfish couldn’t recover in their half of the seventh and final inning.
PBA’s offense was led by Ryan Johnson in the outset, who started the two-out scoring in the fourth inning with a single to left field that scored Brian Walker. Jason Webb followed with a two-run triple down the right field line, and Jake Summey reached on a throwing error that brought Webb in for another 4-0 lead.
TFC came back for two runs in the top of the fourth off Turner, but PBA added a single run in the third and two more in the fourth to get their lead out to 7-2.
Johnson finished the game as the only ‘Fish with a multi-hit performance, going 2-for-3 at the dish.
More information on the NCCAA National Tournament will be released as soon as it is made available.