Late Rally By the Sailfish Comes Just Short in Slugfest with Felician University

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Neil Hardon (Pictured) Had His Best Day at the Plate as a Sailfish as He Finished 5-for-5 Against Felician University. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Neil Hardon (Pictured) Had His Best Day at the Plate as a Sailfish as He Finished 5-for-5 Against Felician University. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- With the final score looking more like a football game than a baseball game, the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team came just short in a comeback effort against Felician University on Thursday afternoon as they dropped a tough 15-14 contest after scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth to get within one run.

Palm Beach Atlantic pounded out 15 hits including a 5-for-5 showing from junior Neil Hardon but it wasn’t enough as Felician scored in seven of the nine innings including four runs in the top of the ninth inning to give them some much needed insurance runs.

Sophomore Taylor McBath drew the start for PBA and went five innings while allowing seven hits and five earned runs. McBath walked only one but also hit four batters while striking out six batters.

Freshman Graham White relieved McBath and ended up taking the loss as he was hit for three runs in an inning of work. Carlos Hechavarria and Martin Suarez would follow in relief after White with both struggling to keep the Felician hitters from scoring.

The Sailfish got off to a great start in the ballgame with four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tony Livelsberger started the scoring with a solo homerun while three more runs came in later in the inning as junior Keith Clabaugh smashed his first home-run of the season; a long three-run shot that brought home both Hardon and Jeff Moyer.

Felician put up a single run in the first inning followed by another in the second inning and two more in the third inning to tie the score at 4-4. The Sailfish would have an answer of their own in the bottom of the third inning however as  Hardon delivered again with an RBI single and Clabaugh lofted a sacrifice fly that scored Livelsberger. PBA then led 6-4.

The middle innings saw both teams get their pitching under control as the only scoring came in the top of the fifth inning as Felician launched back-to-back homers to knot the score at six runs apiece.

After a somewhat calm three-inning stretch for both teams in the middle innings, both teams’ bats would erupt in the final three frames as both teams scored in each inning.

PBA trailed 15-10 going into the bottom of the ninth and even had their first two batters retired to start the frame. A two-out single from Michael Kutch would be followed by a Scott Urbanek walk. Next stepped in Mila who drove a two-run double into centerfield. Norley came through with a double of his own to score Mila followed by a run-scoring single from Livelsberger. After a Hardon single, his fifth hit of the day, moved pinch-runner Logan Thomas into scoring position, it would be up to Moyer to extend the inning.

Unfortunately for the Sailfish infielder, a groundout to the first-baseman would follow and close out the game by a final score of 15-14.

Beyond Hardon’s spectacular day at the plate that included three RBI’s, four other Sailfish hitters registered at least two hits. Mila, Norley, and Livelsberger each had two hits apiece as did Moyer. Clabaugh registered just one hit but drove in four runs.

PBA will be back in action after the weekend off as they will take on Pace University on Tuesday, March 17th at 7 pm.

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