MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – Barry University’s baseball team split a pair of games against the No. 4 Sharks of Nova Southeastern University Saturday dropping game one, 10-9, before coming back to win the series finale, 5-3.
Friday night the two teams battled in a hard fought low-scoring affair, but Saturday’s first game was anything but a pitchers’ duel. The Sharks (18-5, 5-4 SSC) scored four runs in the top of the first inning to take the lead. However, the Bucs (17-8, 1-5 SSC) countered in the bottom of the first with three runs, including Tyler Kellmann’s two-RBI single to left.
J.C. Cardenas drilled a first-pitch fastball to right field for his third homer of the season in the second inning; a two run blast that gave Barry a 5-4 lead.
Nova Southeaster pushed a run across in the top of the third and added three more in the fourth to chase Bucs’ starter Jesse Montalto (2-2).
Trailing 10-5 in the fifth, Kellmann doubled to center field and Greg Brodzinski followed with an RBI single to center to cut the deficit to four.
The Bucs rallied again in the eighth when Luis Rios-Reyes singled, Carlos Matamoros walked and Branden Shaw reached on an error to load the bases without any outs. After a ground ball double-play that scored Rios-Reyes, Adrian English delivered a two-RBI double that made it a 10-9 game.
In the ninth Barry was able to get both the tying and go-ahead runs on base, but failed to come up with a hit down the stretch and fell by a final score of 10-9.
Billy Atkins took the hill for the Bucs in the final game of the series and was in control through the first two innings. However, after retiring the first two batters of the inning Atkins surrendered back-to-back walks and the Sharks took advantage of the free passes. Michael Hernandez belted a three-run homer run in the second to give the Sharks the 3-0 lead.
Atkins settled down and kept the Bucs in the game, tossing 4.2 innings and striking out five batters while allowing just three runs on three hits.
Calvin Rayburn(1-0) entered the game in relief of Atkins and picked up the win in 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball.
In the bottom of the third the Bucs answered with a three-run inning to tie the game. Ramon Valdez led things off, reaching on an error and Khalil Denson and Shaw followed with back-to-back singles that scored Valdez.
After a ground out, Sheehan Planas-Arteaga and English collected RBI singles to cap the three run frame.
With the game tied at three, English led off the bottom of the sixth with a deep drive to center field that resulted in a double. Following a Kellmann walk, Mike Diaz pinch-hit for Brodzinski and moved the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Matamoros delivered the eventual game-winning hit with an RBI single to right to drive in English. The Bucs tacked on another run when Valdez reached on a fielding error by the right fielder Brooks Fleming and Matamoros came around to score.
Rayburn made quick work of the Sharks in the ninth to seal the victory for the Buccaneers.
Alex Fernandez (0-1) picked up the loss in relief of Dillon Frye who allowed four runs, three earned, in five innings of work.
The offense was led by a combination of Buccaneers. Matamoros, Brodzinski, Kellmann and English each had three hits in the double-header, while English led the Bucs with three RBI on the day.
English struggled out of the gate this season, but a seasoned veteran and an All-American English is hitting .477 through his last 11 games including four doubles, two HR’s and 14 RBI.
Barry returns to action next Friday when the travel up to Tampa, FL to battle the top-ranked defending National Champion Spartans in a conference showdown.