MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Palm Beach Atlantic baseball was looking to avenge a loss earlier in the season to St. Thomas, and needed all nine innings to do so, as the Sailfish scored three runs in the ninth inning to take a 5-3 lead, and got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to win 5-4. The Sailfish improve to 26-18 with the victory over the Bobcats.
The Sailfish couldn’t get anything going on offense early in the game, as they were unable to score any runs in the first seven innings of the ballgame. The ‘Fish threatened in the first and third innings as Evan Dougherty singled in both frames, but they were unable to get a two-out hit and left runners stranded in scoring position.
The Bobcats wasted no time in scoring however, as they hit home runs in the first and third innings to take a 3-0 lead. The ‘Fish got some stellar bullpen work in the middle innings of the game, as Mitchell Carroll threw three hitless innings, striking out four batters.
An error and a couple walks got Carroll in trouble in the sixth inning, but Christian Denton entered to strike out a Bobcat hitter to get out of the jam.
Denton threw a perfect seventh inning as well, striking out two more hitters in the inning to keep the score 3-0.
Sean Visconti singled to lead off the eighth inning, and was followed by Kyle Simon who was hit by pitch. Andrew Calderone stepped up to the plate and clobbered a line drive to left center field, scoring two runs to cut the lead to 3-2. Unfortunately, the ‘Fish were unable to tie the game in the eighth as St. Thomas got a double play to end the threat.
Zack Borsa (Win, 1-0) threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the Sailfish to keep the game 3-2 heading to the ninth inning.
Jake Summey led off the ninth inning with a single off the Bobcat closer. After a failed sacrifice bunt attempt, Noah Johnson battled his way on base via walk. Visconti then grounded into a fielder’s choice, and the speedy Dougherty scored from second on the play to tie the game at three. Simon then stepped up and crushed a two-run homer deep to left field, his ninth of the season to give the Sailfish a 5-3 lead.
Joey Hennessey entered the game in the bottom of the ninth, and ran into some trouble, as the Bobcats loaded the bases with three singles with no outs. A wild pitch then brought the Bobcats within one run, and a walk loaded the bases again with nobody out. Hennessey (Save, 9) then got a strikeout for the first out of the inning, and then snagged a line drive that appeared to be heading to center field, and proceeded to double off a Bobcat runner at third base to end the game.
The Sailfish pitching staff struck out 12 hitters on the night, while walking just three. Dougherty and Visconti had the lone multi-hit games for the ‘Fish while Simon and Calderone had two RBIs each.
The Sailfish will be off this weekend, as they will prepare for a three-game series with No. 9 Tampa on April 28-29 at Rubin Park.