Sailfish Salvage Weekend Series with Barry University in Dramatic Fashion
February 2, 2008
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- After being trounced in their two previous efforts, the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team bounced back on Saturday night by taking the night-cap from Barry University on a game-winning sacrifice fly by Joaquin Valdes in the bottom of the seventh.
Overtaking the Bucs in the middle innings after being down early, Barry would break a scoreless tie in their half of the seventh inning and push ahead for a 6-5 lead heading into the last half inning.
Down but certainly not out, PBA rose to the occasion and started a rally that would eventually lead to their first victory of the season.
After Zach Grau (Kalamazoo, Mich.) got things started with an opposite-field leadoff double, life would spring back into the Sailfish bench as they longed to avoid being swept by the visiting Buccaneers. Senior second-baseman Mariano Jimenez (Bradenton, Fla.) followed Grau’s double with a double of his own and drove in Grau for the tying run.
Now firmly in the drivers seat with the winning run in scoring position, PBA senior Mark Jarvis (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) advanced Jimenez to third on a groundball to second-base to set up Valdes’ heroics.
With one out and the count 1-1, Valdes skied a ball to medium range center-field where Buccaneers outfielder Andrew Freza camped under it and prepared to throw to the plate. Freza’s throw would sail up the line and Jimenez would close out the game in dramatic fashion by scoring the game-winning run.
Jimenez finished game two by tallying a 2-2 night while also adding in two walks. While no other Sailfish batter produced a multiple hit game there were others who contributed big moments to the victory.
After a Tony Livelsberger (Hanover, Pa.) single led off the fourth inning, senior shortstop Billy Falconio (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) placed an Andrew Joubek offering far beyond the left-field fence for his first homerun of the 2008 season and put the Fish in front for the first-time in the series.
Zach Grau, a dual-position threat as both a slugging first-baseman and left-handed starter, went the distance for PBA and pitched very well, especially after the first inning which saw the Bucs score three runs and jump in front in the early going. After that outburst, Grau (1-0) would settle down and allow only one more run the rest of the way.
He finished by allowing six runs while walking only one and striking out four. Aaron Main (0-1) took the loss for Barry in the bottom half of the seventh.
PBA won’t have much time to celebrate their come-from-behind victory over Barry as they will be traveling to Nova Southeastern University on Monday, February 4th for a game scheduled for 6 pm.