Sailfish Lose Late Lead, Drop Opener to Sharks
April 8, 2016
Written By: TJ Budd, Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – After taking a 4-3 lead into the seventh inning the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish were unable to come away with a victory on Friday night against Nova Southeastern, falling 6-4 in the first of three games in the weekend series.
The Sailfish (17-19) got a good start from senior right hander Eric Russell, who left the game after six innings with the lead. The bullpen was unable to hold the lead on this night as the Sharks (23-11) scored in each of the final three innings including a pair of solo home runs to come away with the victory.
Russell didn’t factor into the decision after allowing six hits and three runs over six innings. He struck out four and walked three. David Paul (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season after pitching an inning and allowing two runs.
Nova took the lead in the eighth as Kevin Suarez led off with a triple off of Paul. Dominic Monda came into the game as Kavan Thompson laid down a suicide squeeze to score Suarez. Thompson reached first on the bunt and moved to second on a throwing error from Ryan Johnson. Monda struck out five in his two innings and gave up just one more hit, a homer to Brandon Gomez.
The Sharks tied the game in the seventh on a solo home run from Daniel Zardon after the Sailfish had taken the lead in the fifth on a double by Bobby Brennan. Brennan’s second double of the game brought home Eddie Vicinanza who doubled earlier in the inning.
PBA scored twice in the third to take a 3-1 lead at the time. Noah Johnson hit a chopper over the head of shortstop Dylan Woods who was playing in with Jake Summey at third and only one out. Later in the inning Johnson scored as Alex Mateo was called for a balk. Johnson finished the game with two hits as the top of the order, Vicinanza, Johnson and Brennan combined for 8 of the team’s 11 hits.
PBA had the go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth against NSU’s closer Devin Raftery but Brennan struck out to end the game. Rafter earned his seventh save of the season with a two-inning performance. Ronald Patella (1-0) got the win after getting the final out in the seventh in relief of Alex Mateo.
These two teams will meet for the final two games of the series on Saturday with the doubleheader scheduled for a noon start.