DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Palm Beach Atlantic baseball played another closely contested game Friday night, scoring four runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat Embry-Riddle University by a 9-5 final score. The win is the fourth in a row for the ‘Fish, who improve to 4-1 on the season. The Eagles drop to 2-2 with the loss.
Josh Turner made his first start of the season, a pleasant sight on the mound for ‘Fish fans as the righty made his first appearance since the 2015 season. Turner threw two excellent innings, allowing just one base runner and striking out three batters.
The Sailfish scored five runs in the top of the second inning of Eagle starter Austin Lee. The ‘Fish scored all five runs with two outs, as an Eddie Vicinanza double plated Ryan Johnson for the first run of the game. Jake Summey singled up the middle on the next pitch to plate Vicinanza. After two Summey stolen bases and an Evan Dougherty walk, Noah Johnson collected his second hit in as many innings which plated Summey. The biggest blow of the inning came off the bat of Sean Visconti, who doubled to deep right center field to score two more Sailfish runs and build the 5-0 lead.
The ‘Fish were unable to get any more runs across in the following innings, and the scrappy Eagles clawed their way back into the game, scoring one in the third inning and two more in the fourth. Freshman Christian Denton came in to silence the Eagle bats, keeping the lead at 5-3 into the seventh inning. After pitching into a jam, Denton was lifted for Sam Shields, who got Zach Howard to fly out to end the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Eagle pinch-hitter Cody Bogart sent a Shields fastball over the left field wall for a game tying two-run homer.
The ‘Fish however had an answer in the top of the ninth inning, as Noah Johnson led off with a bunt single, and was sacrificed to second by Visconti. After a balk advanced Johnson to third base with two outs, senior Peter Rivera smoked a double down the left field line to put the ‘Fish back on top. Ryan Johnson battled his was on with a walk, and Mac Hessney stepped up and broke out of his slump at the plate, blasting a triple deep to right field to score two runs and extend the lead. Vicinanza completed his four-hit day with a single to left to score Hessney putting the ‘Fish on top 9-5.
Freshman Joey Hennessey pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the fourth consecutive win for the ‘Fish. Hennessey struck out one in the frame as the Sailfish pitching staff struck out 10 hitters on the night.
The Sailfish will look to extend their winning streak tomorrow, as they will play a doubleheader with the Eagles. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 1 p.m.