Point Park wins final two games at Alice Lloyd, splits weekend series in KIAC
March 23, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Nathan Sphon threw six scoreless innings to get the victory in Game 1, 11-0 at Alice Lloyd.
PIPPA PASSES, Ky. -- The Point Park University baseball team got two great starting pitching performances and its cold bats came alive for a couple of wins at Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College, 11-0 and 4-3, in KIAC play on Saturday.
The Pioneers (11-11, 4-4 KIAC) evened the four-game, weekend series at two-games apiece by sweeping the Saturday doubleheader with Alice Lloyd (9-14, 4-4 KIAC). Point Park lost the first two games of the series on Friday, 4-0 and 2-1 after not getting much offense.
Not only did the Pioneers get several multi-hit games on Saturday, starting pitchers Nathan Sphon and Isaiah Marsh each turned in strong outings. Sphon (1-3) threw six shutout innings of six-hit ball to get the win in Game 1. He struck out six and walked none.
Marsh (2-1) allowed only one hit the first five innings and ended up yielding three runs on five hits in 6.2 innings. He struck out five and walked one before giving way to Ryan Loutsenhizer for the final out and the save.
Sphon was the beneficary of the Pioneers scoring three runs in the fifth and eight more in the sixth, but he could have gotten by with much less.
Marsh cruised through the first five innings before two singles and a bunt in between produced a run in the sixth. With a 4-1 lead entering the bottom of the seventh, three doubles by Alice Lloyd brought home two runs to cut it to 4-3. It was Loutsenhizer who gave up the third double, but he followed that up with a fly out to seal the win.
Jordan Crowell drove in three runs in the 11-0 victory in Game 1. The Pioneers' three-run fifth was highlighted by his two-run single, and Javy Marticorena followed with a sacrifice fly for one of his two RBIs. The inning was set up by singles from Ossie Alfonzo, Don McDuffee and Rob Novia.
The eight-run sixth inning started out with a hit batter and two walks to load the bases. McDuffee then ripped an RBI single, and Novia and Crowell both walked to force in two more runs. The outburst continued with another sacrifice fly by Marticorena and run-scoring singles from Marlon Leyva and Chaz Russo.
McDuffee, Russo and Tom Birko led the 11-run offensive out put with two hits each. Birko had four hits on the day after moving up to the No. 6 spot in the batting order.
The middle of the order did the work in Game 2 for Point Park as No. 2-6 hitters Novia, Crowell, Marticorena, Leyva and Birko were all 2 for 4. Birko had the biggest game with two doubles and three of the four RBIs, and Novia had the other RBI. Leyva belted two doubles, and Marticorena also had a two-bagger.
Point Park broke a 0-0 tie with three runs in the fourth. Leyva ripped a lead-off double and scored on Birko's double. A run scored on an error, and with two outs, Novia stroked an RBI single.
The Pioneers added an insurance run in the seventh for a 4-1 advantage, and that ended up being the one they needed for the win. Just like they did in the fourth, Leyva and Birko ripped back-to-back doubles to plate a run, this time with two outs.
Point Park is scheduled to play its home openers on Wed., March 27 vs. Penn State-Beaver. Game time is 1 p.m. (DH) at Point Park Field at Green Tree Park. Before that, the Pioneers are scheduled to play at single game (9 inn.) at Salem International on Tuesday.
Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports and Facebook.com/PointParkAthletics