No. 6 Point Park opens season with two losses at RV Martin Methodist (TN)
Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Sean Clark got the start in Game 1 and pitched a 6-inning complete game with 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Photo by MMC athletics.
PULASKI, Tenn. -- NAIA No. 6 Point Park University had some chances in each game to break things open but came up empty in losing both ends of its season-opening baseball doubleheader at Martin Methodist (Tenn.) on Friday. The Pioneers (0-2) lost the first game, 3-0, and the nightcap, 6-1.
Point Park had its bats go cold in the season-opening losses to Martin Methodist (11-5), which is receiving votes in the NAIA Baseball Preseason Top 25 Poll. The Red Hawks have been very good at home and are now 10-0 there.
The Pioneers, meanwhile, struggled at the plate in what was their second day of the season playing outside on a diamond. Point Park had its first outdoor workout of the year at Martin Methodist's field on Thursday.
Point Park's opening weekend continues at NAIA Talladega (AL) for a doubleheader Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.
Point Park was held to four hits in each game on Friday, although it had things going early in both games. Point Park had runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings in Game 1 but could not get a run across. The Pioneers left seven men on base in the game, including six in the first four innings.
Senior right-hander Sean Clark (Titusville, Pa./Duquesne Univ.) got the start in the opener and he pitched well with 80 pitches through six innings of work. He gave up seven hits but worked of out some tight jams and only gave up three earned runs to keep the Pioneers in the game. He finished with one walk and five strikeouts.
Evan Ferguson was 2 for 3 with two RBIs for Martin Methodist, and Erick Bonifacio had a solo home run in the fourth. Before Ferguson's pair of RBI singles -- in the second and fourth innings -- the Red Hawks got a runner on and then put a man in scoring position via a stolen base to set things up.
The Pioneers were shut out by Blake Beavers (2-1), who gave up only four hits and struck out 10 in a complete game. After giving up the early chances, he got stingier as the game wore on and ended up throwing 129 pitches.
In Game 2, Point Park had the bases loaded with no outs in the third inning, but they got only one run across to tie the score at 1-1. The Red Hawks had scored an unearned run in the second inning to take the early lead.
Point Park starter Nathan Sphon (Greensburg, Pa./West Chester Univ.) did not give up an earned run his first four innings of work, but MMC got to him for two runs on four hits in the fifth. Rob Holley, who was 3 for 4 with an RBI, provided the big hit of the frame with an RBI double.
Sphon gave up an extra-base hit to start the sixth and exited in favor of reliever Toby Eigner (Marathon, Fla./Southeastern CC). Eigner nearly got out of the inning unscatched with the Pioneers still down only, 3-1, but Clint Gobbell delivered a two-out, bases-loaded double to make the score 6-1.
Winning pitcher Josh Brown went the distance for MMC with one earned run, one walk and four strikeouts in seven innings. He gave up only four hits as the Pioneers were out-hit, 10-4.
Trailing, 3-1, Point Park loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth but came up empty just like it did in the third.
Sphon gave up four of his eight hits in the fifth and ended up with three earned runs and a walk. Eiger was charged with two runs on two hits and strikeout.