Atlantic Gets Back To Winning Ways With 4-2 Victory Over Boca Raton
It’s no secret what the Atlantic Eagles are doing right that has helped them be so successful this season.
The secret is in stopping it.
Atlantic continued its strong season with a 4-2 victory over Boca Raton on Monday night in a non-district contest played at Little Fenway Park in Delray Beach.
The Eagles improve to 15-5, and have long ago put their 0-3 start in the rearview mirror.
“We took a backwards step last week against West Boca, and we talked about bouncing back today, with the goal being not to kick the ball around,” Atlantic coach Steve Wilson said. “We didn’t have any errors today, so I’m extremely happy about that.”
Leading the way for the Eagles was senior Sam Bergida, who earned the complete-game victory to improve to 7-0 on the season. The left-hander pounded the zone in throwing 66 of his 94 pitches for strikes, relying primarily on a sharp curve ball that kept the Bobcats (7-11) off balance throughout.
Bergida finished with nine strikeouts, scattered six hits and walked two.
The defense was perfect behind him, highlighted by an impressive diving catch by center fielder Jesse Kieffer to rob Boca’s Mike Smicklas of an extra-base hit in the top of the second inning.
“With Sam throwing, we know he’s going to be throwing strikes,” Wilson said. “This is a good win against a good Boca team. I just keep telling them to see the ball, hit the ball and catch the ball. So far it’s working.”
The Eagles scored the decisive runs in the bottom of the sixth. It was Kieffer starting it off when he reached on a hard line-drive single to short and then stole second to put himself in scoring position. Rigo Beltran followed with a walk, and the Bobcats went to the bullpen in relief of starter Matt Alen.
Catcher Brad Myott lined the first pitch he saw over first base and into the right corner, scoring both runners and setting himself up on second. Johnny Clarke came in as a courtesy runner and came around to score after he stole third base while inducing a throwing error on the attempt.
Alen put in another quality start on the season to keep Boca in the game, throwing 74 pitches over five full innings of work. He allowed three hits and three walks while recording one strikeout against an aggressive Eagles lineup that seemed determined to put every ball in play.
Atlantic broke a scoreless tie with its first run in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Beltran scored on an RBI double from Daniel Metz after he’d reached on a standup double of his own.
The Bobcats nearly completed a comeback in the top of the seventh. Mike Smicklas crushed a pitch to right for a one-out, standup double. Junior Dakotah Radabaugh then connected on a deep shot that cleared the “Little Green Monster” in left field for a two-run home run.
Radabaugh was 2-for-3 on the night after also leading off the fifth inning with a double.