By Michele Kappas
At Dave Manzo Field Tuesday the Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish led 7-6 in the ninth inning, only to see Nova Southeastern University pile on six runs to win 12-7.
PBA fell to 0-5 for the season, with 17 errors in the first five games after Tuesday’s defeat.
Although this game seemed to be an improvement for the Sailfish offensively, the errors on PBA’s side and the hits that Nova Southeastern University got late in the game cost greatly.
“I’m just disappointed. We could easily be 5-0 instead of 0-5,” Head Coach Gary Carter said after the game. “Our errors are killing us more than anything.”
Chad Volbert started off pitching for the Sailfish and remained in the game until the top of the sixth.
In the first five innings he allowed seven hits, three runs, and one strikeout.
Vasilios Mila hit a single for the first Sailfish hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Entering the bottom of the fifth inning the ‘Fish were losing 0-2 when Nova brought in a new pitcher.
PBA took advantage of the pitching change, with Tommy Crews and Scott Urbanek both hitting RBI singles to tie the game 2-2.
Peter Graffeo came in as pitcher in the sixth inning. In two and a half innings, Graffeo allowed four hits, four runs and two walks, while throwing four strikeouts.
The last three innings turned out to be the most exciting, with both offenses firing. Nova brought in three runs in the top of the seventh inning, which motivated PBA to match them with three of their own in the bottom half of that inning.
Luis Mejia highlighted the big inning for PBA, hitting a two-run home run.
“It felt pretty nice hitting that,” Mejia said.
Mejia has been playing baseball ever since he can remember and just transferred here from Garrett College in Maryland. He had the opportunity to train and practice in the Dominican Republic this summer to prepare for the season.
Behind by one going into the eighth inning, the Sailfish were able to take the lead by one with another RBI for Mejia, and a line drive hit by Urbanek that was dropped by an NSU outfielder.
Carter called in Logan Thomas to relieve Graffeo in the ninth inning, attempting to hold onto the 7-6 lead.
After an attempted bunt that resulted in miscommunication for PBA, Nova again started to pick up steam. They were able to score two runs on Thomas, who was credited with the loss, before Graham White was brought in as the game’s closing pitcher.
Unfortunately, Nova proved unstoppable, bringing in four more runs to make the final score 12-7.
“It was a really good game; we just need to stay focused until the end,” Mejia said.
Six runs against the Sailfish in the last inning were upsetting for all after such an exciting game.
The Sailfish rested until Friday when they began their three game series against Flagler College at Dave Manzo Field in Dick Brown Park. The Sailfish finished this series 1-7, with their sole victory coming Saturday in a 4-1 win over Flagler after losing 13-0 Friday night. Sunday’s game ended in a 6-3 win for Flagler.