DAVIE, Fla. – The Palm Beach Atlantic baseball team split a doubleheader with No. 16/20 ranked Nova Southeastern University on Saturday, as the Sharks won the opener 12-6, and the ‘Fish scored seven runs in the ninth inning of the final game to win 9-4. The Sailfish now sit at 22-17 on the season. NSU is 24-12 after taking two of three games this weekend. The two teams will play for a fourth consecutive game on Tuesday, April 11 at Rubin Park in West Palm Beach.
Game 1: Nova Southeastern 12, Palm Beach Atlantic 6
The Sailfish grabbed an early lead in the first game of the day, as Kyle Simon drilled a single to center field to score Evan Dougherty, who singled to lead off the game. The Sharks tied the game up in the bottom half as Jeremy Vasquez hit a home run to right field.
The ‘Fish added a run in the second inning as Connor Rowland led off with a double to right center field, and later scored on a Marcos Perez RBI ground out.
Nova Southeastern took over the game at this point, scoring nine unanswered runs, opening up a 10-2 lead, and knocking Sailfish starting pitcher Sean Horner (Loss, 3-3) out of the game in the fourth inning.
The Sailfish attempted to make a late rally, as Eddie Vicinanza singled home a run in the fifth inning and Mac Hessney hit a three-run homer to left field in the eighth inning. The homer was Hessney’s first of the season, but was not enough as the ‘Fish fell by a 12-6 final.
The ‘Fish got nine hits in the game, all coming from different players. Eli Bottenfield had a solid outing out of the bullpen for the Sailfish, as the freshman threw two scoreless innings, allowing no hits and striking out a pair of hitters.
Game 2: Palm Beach Atlantic 9, Nova Southeastern 4
Andrew Calderone put the Sailfish ahead early in the final game of the series, as he clobbered a two-run homer in the second inning, far over the scoreboard in left center field. Peter Rivera came around to score on the homer after tripling to center field.
Tyler Hawks got the start for the Sailfish, and kept the Sharks off the scoreboard, as he worked into the fourth inning, allowing four hits, and walking one hitter. Hawks was relieved by Kyle Polaski with the bases loaded, and Polaski struck out Michael Hernandez to end the Shark threat.
The Sailfish held their 2-0 lead until the fifth inning, where three pitchers combined to allow four runs, three of which were earned.
Both teams threatened to score in the ensuing innings, but good defense and pitching kept the game at 4-2. The Sharks had a runner on with two outs in the eighth, when Jancarlos Cintron drove a ball to left field. Rowland made a full-extension diving catch in deep left field to end the inning, and keep the Sailfish within two runs.
The Sailfish came to bat in the ninth inning off Shark closer Josh Glick down two runs, and got off to a good start, as Vicinanza reached on a hard-hit ball to right field. Jake Summey then chopped a ball to third base, which was thrown down the right field line. Vicinanza scored on the play, and Summey ended up on second base. Next up was Dougherty, who laid a sacrifice bunt down the third base line. The Shark third baseman made another wild throw, which scored Summey and advanced Dougherty to second base.
After two strikeouts, the Sharks intentionally walked Simon, and Rivera was hit by pitch to load the bases. A Glick wild pitch gave the Sailfish the 5-4 lead, and another hit by pitch loaded the bases again for Ryan Johnson. The Sharks brought in Devin Meyer, who was greeted by Johnson, who drilled a ball to the right field wall, emptying the bases and plating three runs. After another hit batter for the Sailfish, Johnson came around to score on an infield single from Summey.
The Sailfish took a 9-4 lead to the bottom of the ninth, where Joey Hennessey (Win, 2-0) threw a 1-2-3 inning to lock down the win for the Sailfish.
Dougherty finished with four hits in the game to lead the way for the Sailfish. Johnson and Summey finished with two hits each.