#1-Ranked Barry University Nearly Upset by Sailfish Baseball Squad

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Neil Hardon (Pictured) Registerd a Single and Triple in the Sailfish 6-5 Loss to Barry University on Tuesday Evening. Neil Hardon (Pictured) Registerd a Single and Triple in the Sailfish 6-5 Loss to Barry University on Tuesday Evening.

Box Score

JUPITER, Fla.- It appears as if the Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball is peaking at the right time. Although Tuesday night’s matchup with Barry University at the Roger Dean Complex resulted in a loss, the Sailfish certainly had many things to be proud of as they took the newly-named #1-team in the nation to a close 6-5 outcome.

Hosting Senior Night which honored PBA’s two senior members Dustin Ducasse and Nick Norley, the Fish appeared as if they might steal a game from the Buccaneers who came in with a healthy 41-7 record and the recent #1-ranking in the latest National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) national polls.

Ducasse got the start on the hill for the Sailfish and despite being used to pitching only an inning or two at a timeout of the bullpen, the Deerfield Beach native tossed four innings while allowing only four hits and two earned runs while working around four walks and getting two strikeouts.

After BU jumped ahead with a run in the top of the first inning on a RBI single from Yaz Gutierrez that plated Nick Shaw giving Bucs starter Brian Milanes an early cushion. That lead would quickly vanish however as the Fish jumped all over Milanes and plated three runs in their half of the first inning.

Vasilios Milas started the inning with a sharp single to right-field and then came in to score as Norley smoked the first pitch he saw into the right-centerfield gap for an RBI double. After a Tony Livelsberger flyout moved Norley to third-base, Neil Hardon stepped in and delivered a RBI single of his own. Another single by Jeff Moyer would follow and finally a run-scoring single from Scott Urbanek.

Ducasse followed the big inning by his offense with two scoreless innings of his own as the Fish extended their early game lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the third inning as Hardon had a one-out triple followed by a single from Moyer.

The Bucs offense would get back in gear in the top of the fourth inning as two runs came home to score on a Sailfish error. Ducasse completed the inning in grand fashion as he got Mitch Rodriguez to ground into an inning-ending double-play with the bases loaded.

The fifth would bring more trouble for Ducasse as it ended his final home start of his career when BU shortstop Nick Shaw started the frame with a walk. Junior Martin Suarez relieved and after walking Daniel Lima, allowed a single to Yan Gomes, and then a sacrifice fly to Gutierrez to score the tying run. Suarez then got the next two batters to line out on two very nice defensive plays from Moyer.

Both teams brought home runs in the sixth inning as BU went ahead briefly 5-4 on an RBI single from Lima while PBA tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a RBI single from freshman Stephen Fowler.

Both bullpens settled down from there as the only remaining run to score came around against Buddy Fisher (0-5) in the eighth inning as Manny Pedrozo led off with a double and advanced home to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Rodriguez.

Buccaneers closer Bobby Hernandez came on for the save in the ninth inning and blew away the Fish in dominating fashion by striking out the side.

BU reliever Josh Holmes came on and earned the win in relief of Milanes as he tallied 1.1 innings no runs and no hits allowed.

Fisher took the loss for PBA despite pitching well allowing three hits and one run in 3.1 innings of relief including three strikeouts.

The Sailfish will now wait for the tournament schedule to be released for the upcoming National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Regional that will take place in Franklin Springs, Georgia on the campus of Emmanuel College. Stay tuned to pbasailfish.com for further updates.

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