Bilodeau Stings Jackets with Pair of Walkoffs
March 11, 2016
Written By: TJ Budd, Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – It’s safe to say that American International does not want to see Julian Bilodeau at the plate anymore after the senior picked up two walkoff hits against the Yellow Jackets on Friday, lifting Palm Beach Atlantic to an 8-7 and 2-1 sweep.
Bilodeau singled through the left side in the ninth to end game one before leading off the bottom of the seventh with his third home run in game two to push the Sailfish to 14-9 on the season. AIC ends their 11-game trip to South Florida at 3-8.
PBA closes out the weekend with a single game against Wilmington (Del.) on Saturday at 4 p.m. Wilmington will play Adelphi at noon also at Rubin Park on Saturday.
GAME ONE: PBA 8, AIC 7
The Sailfish jumped out to a 3-0 lead after five innings on a two-run home by Peter Rivera in the bottom of the fifth but the Yellow Jackets exploded for six runs in the sixth. AIC’s Tyler Geffert hit a two-run homer of his own before K.J. White hit a grand slam to give AIC a 6-3 lead.
PBA responded in the bottom half of the inning with four runs of their own. Three straight hits to start the inning brought in two runs as Jake Summey drove home two with his second hit on the afternoon. Ryan Johnson singled and Bilodeau doubled to start the inning. Later in the inning Summey scored on an error to tie the game at 6-6 before Mac Hessney knocked in his second RBI of the game to give PBA a 7-6 lead.
American International responded in their next at-bat as the Sailfish walked four straight with a passed ball mixed in to tie the game again, this time at 7-7. David Paul worked out of the jam after coming on with the bases loaded. Paul got a double play and a strikeout to leave two runners on.
Paul worked a scoreless eighth and ninth, allowing only one runner on an error to set up Bilodeau for the first of two dramatic endings. In the bottom of the ninth Hessney was hit with a pitch to start the inning. Andrew Calderone sacrificed pinch runner Eddie Vicinanza to second before he moved to third on a groundout. Bilodeau followed with a single through the infield as Vicinanza scored the winning run.
The ‘Fish collected 15 hits in the game, 12 off of starting pitcher Harrison Paige. Bilodeau had four hits and was joined by four others with multi-hit games. Ryan Johnson picked up three hits including a double as Summey, Rivera and Hessney each added two hits. Those three also had two RBIs each.
After tossing three scoreless innings Paul picked up the win to improve to 2-0. Thomas Chapdelaine (0-1) took the loss for AIC, pitching only the ninth and giving up one hit. PBA starter Kyle Polaski was cruising through five innings but ran into trouble in the sixth, he finished the day allowing five hits in five innings. He allowed four runs and one walk and struck out three.
GAME TWO: PBA 2, AIC 1
Eric Russell pitched 5.1 strong innings but ultimately didn’t factor into the decision as Dominic Monda improved to 5-0 on the season with 1.2 innings of relief. The senior duo combined to strikeout nine batters in the seven-inning contest.
The story again came down to Bilodeau late in the game. The ‘Fish held a 1-0 lead before AIC scored in the sixth inning to tie the game at 1-1. In the bottom of the seventh the Sailfish right fielder led off the inning and smacked a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence to send the Sailfish home winners.
The two teams combined for just eight hits in the game, five coming off the bats of the Sailfish. Both teams left six on base as both starters pitched well. Colin Sledzik went the distance and struck out two, allowing five hits and four walks. Russell allowed just three hits and one walk, striking out six. He left with the tying run on base in the sixth inning, a run that scored on a wild pitch with Monda on the mound. Monda struck out three and walked two without allowing a hit in his 1.2 innings of work to pick up his team-leading fifth win.