Palm Beach Atlantic Baseball Drops Season Opener to Visiting Master's College
February 1, 2009
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- While the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team showed signs of a solid team coming together they also displayed some typical early season struggles as they fell in their season opener on Sunday afternoon to The Master’s College (NAIA) 11-7.
Traveling to south Florida for a trio of games against Northwood University earlier in the weekend, TMC hails from southern California as a member of the GSAC.
The Sailfish witnessed the debut of freshman right-hander Carlos Hechavarria who despite some tough breaks posted a solid showing as a true freshman. Hechavarria tossed 3 2/3 innings in his debut while allowing five runs (four earned) while posting five strikeouts.
A trio of young arms followed Hechavarria in sophomore Billy Schmidt, freshman Grahm White, and freshman Aaron Rodewald.
The Mustangs jumped ahead in the first-inning on a two-run homerun from first-baseman Caleb Mintz that sailed over the left-field fence.
After the rough start, Hechavarria came back and fired a scoreless second inning before allowing three more runs in the third inning highlighted by a run-scoring single from Eric Blackwell and a double from Michael Brando.
The Fish responded with their first two runs of the 2009 season in the bottom half of the third inning as Tony Livelsberger singled up the middle to score Nick Norley and Vasilios Mila came around to score on an over-throw by the Mustang’s second-baseman.
As they did multiple times throughout the ballgame, the Mustangs responded to the Sailfish rally with one of their own. The Mustangs tacked on two runs in the sixth and after the Sailfish pushed across three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to get as close as 7-5, TMC came back with three more runs of their own.
Despite the Sailfish best efforts including a single run in the eighth and ninth innings, TMC would hold on for the hard-fought victory.
Finishing out the opener with a good performance at the plate for PBA was a pair of hits from Tony Livelsberger and a 3-for-4 hitting performance from freshman Michael Kutch, another player making his collegiate debut. Sophomore Jesse Gibbs added in a pair of singles and a RBI.
TMC was led by pitcher Joe Zeller who not only posted a solid showing on the mound with seven strong innings including five strikeouts, but also at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI’s. David Goodenough closed out the game with two innings of work.
The Fish will return to the diamond on Wednesday, February 4th as they take on West Palm Beach rival Northwood University in a 6