No. 19 Point Park reaches 40 wins with doubleheader sweep at Rio Grande
May 4, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Point Park closer Toby Eigner came in to get the save in Game 2, a 5-4 win. Photo by Sam Robinson.
RIO GRANDE, Ohio -- No. 19-ranked Point Park University baseball reached the 40-win mark with two wins at non-conference Rio Grande on Saturday, 10-1 and 5-4.
The Pioneers (40-14, 16-4 KIAC) have 40 wins for the eighth time in their 47-year history of baseball. It is only the third time in the last 24 years that Point Park has reached 40 wins, and it is currently the only northern team in the NAIA with that many victories.
The weekend series at Rio Grande (22-31) is a continuation of the regular season for Point Park, which would have been idle between its KIAC Tournament championship game win April 26 and the start of the NAIA National Championship Opening Round May 12.
And although the Point Park bats were shutd own in the first game of the Rio Grande series on Friday in a 5-1 loss, Saturday was a different story. The Pioneers were up, 10-1, through three innings of the first game and got out to a 5-1 lead in the nightcap before holding on for the 5-4 win.
Junior left fielder Jordan Crowell led the hitting in Game 1 by going 2 for 3 with four RBIs. Crowell stroked a two-run single in both the first and second innings.
Yuliecer Arias was 2 for 4 with two RBIs. The senior shortstop had a sacrifice fly as part of the four-run second inning, and he highlighted the three-run third with a base hit that knocked in two.
Jonathan Tasis was 2 for 4, and he got the start at first base in both games. Designated hitter Oscar Romero had a base hit, an RBI and scored twice. Shane Conley was 1 for 1 with a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored.
Alex Mateo threw a complete game for Point Park in the opener. He limited the RedStorm to only three hits, one of which was Carlos Flores' RBI single in the third. That hit followed a walk and a groundout that moved the runner up.
That was all that Rio Grande got versus Mateo, who improve to 8-2 with a 1.96 ERA after striking out seven and walking three in seven innings.
Rio Grande starter Anthony Knittel lasted only 1.2 innings and gave up seven runs. Trent Downs then came in and went the next 4.2 innings as one of the three pitchers to work in the game for the RedStorm.
Point Park jumped out to the 5-1 lead in the Game 2, and it was Tasis who gave the Pioneers an early lead with a two-run single in the second. Two innings later, Ossie Alfonzo delivered a two-run single of his own for a 4-1 lead. The bases were loaded with no outs as Romero led off with a single, then Crowell single and Tasis was hit by a pitch.
Romero was 3 for 3 with a walk and scored two runs. Javy Marticorena was 2 for 4, and Crowell was 2 for 3. Both Marticorena and Crowell had a hand in the Pioneers adding an insurance run in the fifth as Marticorena led off with a single. And after walks to Romero and Michael DeJesus loaded the bases, Crowell came up with a key RBI hit for the eventual winning run, 5-1.
Rio Grande added three runs in the sixth to get within 5-4. Markus Makuch had an RBI double with one out, which forced Point Park to take out starting pitcher Isaiah Marsh, who went 5.1 innings. Jon Corcoran then came then came in to get the last two outs of the sixth and keep the lead by stranding a runner at third.
Point Park closer Toby Eigner came in to get his sixth save of the year by retiring Rio Grande in order in the seventh inning. Eigner is now tied for the second-most saves in a single season at Point Park along with last year's closer Ryan Loutsenhizer. Mike Tullio had 15 saves in 2012 for the single-season record.
Marsh won his eighth straight decision and improved to 8-1 by getting the victory in 5.1 innings of work. Marsh gave up four runs on six hits, walked four and struck out one.