WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A late-game comeback came up just short for the Nova Southeastern baseball team (1-6) on Wednesday night at J.M. “Jake” Rubin Park against Palm Beach Atlantic (4-10). Trailing six into the final two frames, the Sharks put up four runs across the eighth and ninth, but were unable to plate the final pair.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final Score: Palm Beach Atlantic – 6, Nova Southeastern – 4
Records: Palm Beach Atlantic (4-10, 3-10 SSC), Nova Southeastern (1-6, 1-6 SSC)
Location: J.M. “Jake” Rubin Park | West Palm Beach, Fla.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Sailfish put up a pair early, converting three first-inning singles into back-to-back scoring plays against the first start for Jose Varela. Jake Roper logged an RBI single and Robert Fabelo added an RBI fielder’s choice to put the Sharks in an early 2-0 hole. Two more scoring innings gave PBA some cushion, courtesy of a second-inning Sebastian Salado home run and a third-inning Roper RBI double before Stephen Schissler could take over pitching duties and gather two quick outs. In the fourth, Schissler delivered the first clean inning of the night, notching two strikeouts, but the Sailfish got to him in the fifth with consecutive RBI from Roper and Fabelo to push PBA ahead 6-0.
Starting in the sixth, Daniel Rivero, Carlos Rey and Joe Smeton combined to keep the Sailfish at bay, allowing just a single hit across three frames and logging five strikeouts to give the Shark and opening to rally.
After leaving 10 runners aboard on seven hits through the first seven innings, the Sharks offense finally started to put things in motion in the eighth off the first Sailfish reliever, Brad VanAsdlen. Starting down two outs with three runners aboard, shortstop Tyler Epstein found space in center field on an RBI single that scored Alejandro Macario and Adam Smith to snap the shutout.
Carrying a little momentum into the ninth, Adan Fernandez led off with a double to left field against right-handed reliever Mitchell Price. Entering as a final-frame pinch hitter, Andrew Labosky smacked an RBI double of his own to left field, prompting PBA to go back to the bullpen for the left, Ryan Webster. With one out away, Alex Steinbach cleared Labosky off the basepath with an RBI groundout. However, third baseman Lara snagged Olivier Mayrand’s line drive to shut the door on the Sharks’ comeback and send the game final at 6-4.
The Sharks return to the confines of the NSU baseball complex on Friday, hosting the series opener with the Rollins Tars at 5:00 p.m. The series will continue on Saturday in Winter Park, as the Sharks travel north for a doubleheader – first pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m. at Alfond Stadium.