Sailfish Fall in Doubleheader to No. 9 Ranked Spartans
April 29, 2017
Written By: Kennie Silvestri, Sports Information Assistant.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – It was a long day of baseball at Rubin Park, as Palm Beach Atlantic and the No. 6/9 ranked Tampa Spartans played a marathon doubleheader that lasted well over eight hours. The Spartans swept the two games from the ‘Fish, winning the first one 12-6 in extra innings before coming from behind to win the finale of the series 11-9.
The Sailfish will return to Rubin Park next weekend to close out their season against Rollins College in a weekend series. The series will begin on Saturday evening due to graduation and will continue with a doubleheader on Sunday. Sunday’s games will begin at 1 p.m. and will be Senior Day for the seven Sailfish seniors.
The Sailfish got off to a great start in the first game of the day, as Peter Rivera hit his third homer of the season in the second inning to break the scoreless tie. The Sailfish added two more in the inning on hits by Eddie Vicinanza and Jake Summey to open up a 3-0 lead.
Tampa scored three runs of their own in the next three innings to tie the game at three as the Sailfish defense was shaky, making a couple errors to aid the Spartan offense.
The Sailfish came to bat in the sixth inning tied 3-3, and after a Sean Visconti single and an Andrew Calderone walk, Rivera stepped to the plate and cranked another homer, a three-run shot to give the ‘Fish a 6-3 lead.
Another two Sailfish errors led to three runs in the top of the seventh for the Spartans, as they tied the game at six runs apiece.
Both closers entered the game in the seventh and had strong performances, as Garret Cave (Win, 5-2) for Tampa and Joey Hennessey (Loss, 2-1) threw three scoreless frames to keep the game tied at six at the end of nine innings. Hennessey ran out of gas in the tenth inning however, as he allowed six runs, five earned, on four hits.
The Sailfish only recorded seven hits in the game, with Rivera collecting the only multi-hit game with his two home runs. Josh Turner gave the ‘Fish an excellent start on the mound, as he worked into the seventh inning and allowed just three earned runs, striking out three and not walking a Spartan hitter in his no-decision.
The final game of the series was similar to the first of the day, as the Spartans came back from a late deficit against the Sailfish bullpen to claim the victory.
Tampa broke through in the third inning to open up the scoring, as they scored two runs on three hits in the inning.
The Sailfish wasted no time in answering however, as they fired back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, bouncing the Spartan starting pitcher from the game. Kyle Simon had an RBI single in the inning, and Mac Hessney added an RBI walk.
Tampa retook the lead in the fifth inning, as they scored two more runs on three hits to go ahead 4-3.
The ‘Fish put up four runs in the bottom of the fifth, as Noah Johnson singled home a run to take the lead and Simon drove in two more with a single to give the ‘Fish a 7-4 lead.
The back-and-forth game continued in the next inning, as both bullpens struggled to get outs. Tampa scored two more runs in the sixth inning to pull to within one run.
The ‘Fish added onto their lead in the bottom half as Summey doubled home the eighth run of the game for the ‘Fish. PBA then extended their lead to 9-6 in the seventh inning on a Rivera RBI single.
Tampa delivered the deciding blow in the eighth inning, scoring five runs off three Sailfish pitchers in the inning to take a 11-9 lead into the bottom of the eighth.
Eli Bottenfield threw a scoreless ninth to keep the game at 11-9, but the Sailfish were unable to plate any runners in the bottom half as they fell in the finale.
Simon had a four-hit game at the plate, while Rivera added two more hits in the final game of the series.