Point Park opens KIAC play at Asbury (Ky.), wins 1 of 3 games on the day
March 15, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Sophomore 3B Jordan Crowell was 5 for 8 with 2 RBIs and 3 R on the day. Photo by Lauren Jones.
WILMORE, Ky. -- Point Park University played its first-ever Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference baseball games on Friday at Asbury (Ky.) University, and the Pioneers came away with only one win in the three games that were played on the day.
Wanting to beat the rain forecast for Saturday in Wilmore, Ky., the teams decided to play three seven-inning games on Friday and leave Game 4 of the KIAC-opening series for both teams for Saturday.
Point Park (8-9, 1-2 KIAC) started the day off well with a clean, 5-1 win over Asbury (Ky.) (9-21, 2-1 KIAC) as Sean Cleark allowed only three hits in five innings and Isaiah Marsh wrapped up the 5-1 victory with two scoreless innings of relief.
But Asbury got the better of the Pioneers in the final two games of the day, winning 6-4 and 5-4, the second victory of which came in its last at bat on a single by Tyler Messner in the bottom of the seventh.
Both of the Eagles' wins followed a similar script with Point Park falling behind early and never being able to take a lead. The best Point Park could do in those games was draw even with a 4-4 tie with a clutch run in the top of the seventh of Game 3. But Asbury got an infield hit, a bunt and a wild pitch to set up Messner's game-winning base hit in the bottom of the inning.
Game 3 marked the fourth time this year that Point Park lost a game in the last at bat. What hasn't helped that stat is the fact that the other team has had last at-bats in 13 of the Pioneers' 17 games so far. Point Park will have to turn that around with 10 of its next 12 games on the road, including Game 4 of the Asbury series on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Point Park had nine hits in support of Clark in Game 1, but struggled at times to generate offense in the other games. Don McDuffee, Marlon Leyva and Tom Pasinski each had two hits in the opener, and Leyva, Pasinski and Ossie Alfonzo picked up RBIs. Point Park scored a run on a wild pitch in the top of the first and then got three important runs in the top of the fifth for a 4-1 lead.
Leyva delivered the first big hit of the three-run fifth, an RBI single. Alfonzo followed with a run-scoring groundout, and Pasinski knocked in the final run with a base hit. An insurance run was tacked on in the sixth when Chaz Russo walked and then moved up one base each on three separate wild pitches.
Clark improved his record to 2-2 by holding Asbury to one run over five innings of work. He struck out five and walked none before turning things over to Marsh. Marsh struck out two and allowed only one hit in his two scoreless innings.
Game 1 was tied at 1-1 before the Pioneers got to Asbury starter Isaiah Bell in the fifth. Bell, who beat Point Park twice in the Unaffiliated AMC-KIAC-GCAC Tournament last spring, gave up four runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Asbury took the momentum early in Game 2 as it struck for three runs in the bottom of the first off Pioneers starter Manny Perdomo. Point Park responded with three runs in the second to knot things up at 3-3 as a dropped fly ball to center allowed two runs to score with two outs and also extended the inning long enough for McDuffee's RBI triple.
But after that, Asbury kept punching away with its 10-hit attack, and the Pioneers couldn't get much more offense going. Point Park was held to five hits in the game by winning pitcher Zach Settle, who went all seven innings. Settle struck out seven, walked two and allowed only one earned run. Crowell was 3 for 3 in the game for Point Park.
Asbury took the lead for good with two runs in the fifth after a fielder's choice brought home a runner and Jared Hahn delivered a two-out hit. The Eagles made it a 6-3 lead in the sixth as Simeon Bell and Jordan Cox stroked consecutive doubles to plate a run.
Point Park cut the deficit to 6-4 witn a single run in the sixth when Pasinski doubled and scored on Crowell's single with two outs. But the Pioneers went 1-2-3 in the seventh as Settle finished things off.
Crowell and Pasinski were a couple of highlights for the Pioneers on the day. Crowell, a sophomore third baseman who transferred this year from UNOH, was 5 for 8 with two RBIs and three runs in the three games. Pasinski, a senior center fielder from West Mifflin, Pa., was 5 for 9 on the day.
Point Park again faced an early deficit in Game 3 with the Eagles getting across two runs in the bottom of the first and later leading, 4-1, after three complete. Messner had a big game for Asbury with not only the walk-off hit but also a key, two-out single that brought home two runs in the first.
Point Park's Game 3 starter Nathan Spohn was facing runners at second and third with no outs in the first inning after a double, an infield single and an error. Spohn got the next two hitters to pop out, but Messner followed with his big hit to send the Eagles on their way.
The Pioneers got on the board in the second with three singles leading to one run -- the first two by Crowell and Pasinski and the third by Birko, an infield base hit that produced a run. Point Park had eight hits in the game with Pasinski and Chaz Russo picking up two apiece. Crowell was 1 for 2 with an RBI and two runs.
Asbury used five singles and a sacrifice bunt to plod two runs home in the third. Three singles and a bunt brought home the first run on Jordan Cox's RBI. After a fly out moved a runner to third, the Eagles built the 4-1 lead on an RBI groundout.
Point Park got five hits versus Asbury starter Logan Howard, who went 5.1 innings. He gave up only one run his first five innings of work before the Pioneers got to him for two in the sixth.
Again it was Crowell and Pasinski in the center of the rally as Crowell was hit by a pitch to lead off the Pioneers' sixth. Pasinki then reached on an infield single, and an error put the runners at second and third. Tyler Cattapan then lifted a sacrifice fly, and two batters later Novia cut the lead to 4-3 with a run-scoring single with two outs.
Needing at least a run in the seventh, Point Park tied it up at 4-4 on Crowell's sacrifice fly. The rally started with Russo's bunt single to lead off. Leyva bunted him to second, and he moved to third on Javy Marticorena's RBI single.
Asbury reliever Micah Pace ended up with the win in 1.2 innings as he got the last out of the top of the seventh to preserve the 4-4 tie. The Eagles got a lead-off single from Dallas Murphy in the last of the seventh, and Cox bunted him up to second. After Murphy moved to third on a wild pitch by reliever Marsh, Messner followed with his game-winner.