Seahawks Earn Victory Over Sailfish in Frigid February Baseball Action

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Martin Suarez (Pictured) Made a Solid Debut with PBA on Wednesday Evening with Five Innings. Suarez Surrendered Just Two Hits and Two Earned Runs. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Martin Suarez (Pictured) Made a Solid Debut with PBA on Wednesday Evening with Five Innings. Suarez Surrendered Just Two Hits and Two Earned Runs. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- Despite banging out 11 hits and scoring eight runs on Wednesday evening, the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team was unable to take down visiting Northwood University in PBA’s second game of the young season. The Seahawks used three big innings to hold on for a 12-8 victory.

Palm Beach Atlantic (0-2) trailed 8-1 entering the bottom of the sixth inning before giving Sailfish and Seahawk fans alike a flashback to last season when the Fish came back from a similar deficit against NU on the same field. Despite their best efforts however, the Sailfish drew much closer with a big five run outburst in the sixth but allowed the Seahawks extend their lead once more with four runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Northwood improves to 3-1 on the season after taking two of three from The Master’s College over the weekend and earning the victory Wednesday over the Sailfish.

Much like the Sailfish season opening game on Sunday versus The Master’s College, PBA fourth-year head coach Rob Avila turned to one of his many new arms as junior college transfer Martin Suarez made his first official appearance as a Sailfish.

In somewhat of the same fashion as freshman Carlos Hechavarria who made the start against TMC, Suarez showed signs of dominance mixed in with times of disappointing results because of control. Much of that could be contributed to the weather on Wednesday evening as temperatures dropped to the low 40’s with the wind howling and swirling the entire night.

Suarez finished his night by allowing only two hits and two earned runsin five innings of work. That was the good news. The bad news came via two critical Sailfish fielding errors and the seven base-on-balls that Suarez allowed. A native of Miami, Florida, Suarez also added in five strikeouts.

Things started off smoothly for PBA in the first inning as junior first-baseman Tony Livelsberger blasted his first homerun of the 2009 campaign with a long solo shot that easily cleared the left-field fence.

That lead would be short-lived however as the Seahawks stormed back with five runs in the top-half of the second inning to move into control. With Suarez working around a number of jams, the Seahawks would be held off the scoreboard over the next three innings before striking for three in the sixth inning.

That damage came off another PBA newcomer Dan McIldoon who was also making his first career appearance out of the Sailfish bullpen.

After retiring the first-batter on a flyout, McIldoon ran into trouble next as he issued a walk to Cole Boneri followed by a single from leadoff man Corey Cooke. After getting the next batter to fly out, it appeared that McIldoon would possibly work himself and the Sailfish out of any more trouble. That wouldn’t be the case however as he first issued a wild-pitch and then allowed a two-run single to Nik Smith that drove home both Boneri and Cooke. Smith would promptly steal second and come around to score on a Danny Speerin RBI single. Billy Schmidt would then relieve McIldoon and retire the only batter he faced in the inning to escape further problems.

PBA utilized both a wild-pitch and a failed pickoff attempt by the Seahawks to bring in their first two runs of the sixth inning before a bases-clearing triple from Vasilios Mila brought the game even closer at 8-6.

Moving down the stretch though, the Seahawks would score four more times in the seventh inning against the PBA bullpen including relievers Schmidt and Aaron Rodewald before freshman Chad Volbert was able to enter and put out the fire with a solid pair of scoreless innings in his PBA debut.

The Fish tacked on two more runs in their half of the eighth inning on a Livelsberger RBI groundout and run-scoring double from Joaquin Valdes to cut the NU lead to 12-8 but it would not be enough as NU right-hander Jace Findley quickly eliminated any hope of a ninth inning Sailfish rally by striking out the side.

Second-baseman Vasilios Mila got his bat going with a pair of hits and three RBI’s while Valdes, freshman sensation Jeff Moyer, and sophomore Jesse Gibbs all finished the game with two hits each. Leadoff man Scott Urbanek managed two walks while scoring two runs.

The Seahawks were led by a combined nine runs batted in from their fourth and fifth place hitters in Smith and Speerin who did most of the damage for NU. Smith also drew three of NU’s 11 walks on the evening.

Justin Knoll earned the victory with six solid innings for the Seahawks as the crafty left-hander was tagged for six runs although only two were earned. He worked around five walks while striking out three Sailfish batters.

PBA returns to the diamond over the weekend as they will travel to Winter Park, Florida to take on Rollins College in a trio of games. They will first square off on Friday, February 6th at 7 p.m. followed by a double-header on Saturday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.

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