Point Park completes sweep of Alice Lloyd, Mateo flirts with no-hitter again
April 6, 2014 at 10:40 p.m. ET
Alex Mateo pitched his third 1-hitter of the year and took a no-hitter into the 7th of Game 1. Photo by Jackie Eigner.
PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University baseball finished off a KIAC series sweep of visiting Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College on Sunday with two wins, 6-0 and 13-4, and it was Alex Mateo's 1-hitter in the first game that highlighted the day. The Pioneers (26-11, 10-4 KIAC) have now won 10 in a row.
Point Park won all four games in the weekend series versus Alice Lloyd (15-13-1, 2-10 KIAC) with a combined score of 42-7 across the four games. The Pioneers are now in a virtual tie for first place in the KIAC with Brescia (29-15, 11-5 KIAC), but Point Park holds the lead in the loss column and by winning percentage.
Mateo, a right-hander from Miami, Fla., took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of Game 1, but a bloop single by Alice Lloyd's left-hand hitting Kevin Smith with one out fell just inside the foul line in shallow left field. On the very next pitch, Mateo got a double play to end the game, which means he missed the no-hitter by one pitch.
It was the third time this year that Mateo nearly threw a no-hitter. A bloop single to right field early in his one-hit shutout of Viterbo March 7 was the only hit in that game. And a swinging bunt that landed in no-man's land between home and first at IU Southeast March 15 was the only hit then.
As it turned out, Mateo got his third 1-hitter in seven outings this season. He improved to 4-2 with nine strikeouts and one walk on the day. He had a perfect game going through four innings before a walk to start the fifth ended that bid. For the year, Mateo has a 2.76 ERA, 40 strikeouts, seven walks and opponents are hitting .200 off of him.
Point Park gave Mateo an early lead with three runs in its first time at bat. The Pioneers strung together five hits that inning with Oscar Romero delivering a big, two-run double. That was followed two batters later by Jordan Crowell's RBI single with two outs.
Crowell, who was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, ripped an RBI double in the third as the Pioneers mounted another three-run inning. Other runs scored that inning on the back end of a failed double-play attempt that could have ended the inning and on the back end of a double steal with runners at first and third.
Point Park got all six of its runs versus Alice Lloyd starter Neil Dillon (4-3), who gave up nine hits in four innings. Javy Marticorena and Shane Conley joined Crowell as Point Park players with two hits.
In Game 2, Point Park pounded out 15 hits versus six Alice Lloyd pitchers. The Pioneers built a 9-0 lead after three innings with three in the first and five more in the third. Alice Lloyd cut into the lead with all four of its runs in the top of the fourth, but the Pioneers regained the nine-run lead with four runs of its own in the bottom of the inning.
Junior third baseman Michael DeJesus hit a three-run homer to make the score 13-4 in the fourth. He also had an RBI double in the first inning and finished 2 for 2 with four RBIs. The first inning also included an RBI double by Marticorena, and a run-scoring base hit by Crowell, who was 2 for 3.
Tom Birko was 2 for 4 with an RBI single in the second, which made the score 4-0. Point Park's five-run outburst in the third was highlighted by RBI singles by Tyler Cattapan and Ossie Alfonzo and Shane Conley's two-run double. Each of those hits came with two outs. Alfonzo ended up 2 for 3, and Conley was 1 for 2.
Romero was 2 for 3, and he knocked in a run with a base hit in the fourth. The next batter was DeJesus with his homer to left field.
Jon Corcoran (3-1) got the victory in 2.2 innings of middle relief. He did not allow a hit and retired all seven batters he faced. Point Park starter Nathan Sphon went 3.1 innings and gave up all four of his runs in the fourth. He struck out three and walked two before giving way to Corcoran, who got a double-play to end the fourth on the first batter he faced.
Corcoran then set down the Eagles in order in the fifth and sixth innings, and closer Toby Eigner did the same in the seventh in a non-save situation.
Point Park's next game is Tuesday at Seton Hill for a non-conference matchup at 3 p.m. That game was originally scheduled for Monday at home, but the date and location have been changed. The Pioneers have one more KIAC series left on the schedule April 11-12 at home versus Asbury (Ky.).
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