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Baseball Game Recaps

Point Park completes sweep of Berea (Ky.), takes over first place in KIAC

March 30, 2013 at 10:30 p.m. ET

Tom Birko was 4 for 7 with six RBIs in Saturday's doubleheader at Berea. File Photo.



BEREA, Ky. -- Point Park University extended its season-long win streak to six games and completed a KIAC baseball series sweep at Berea (Ky.) College with two wins on Saturday by scores of 7-5 and 20-4.

Point Park (15-11, 8-4 KIAC) took over first place in the KIAC at 8-4 by sweeping the four-game, weekend series versus Berea (10-19, 2-9 KIAC). Point Park outscored Berea, 47-14, in the series.

In the 7-5 win on Saturday, Point Park scored four times in the top of the sixth to rally for the win. The 20-4 victory in the nightcap was all Point Park as the Pioneers totaled 21 hits in all. Nine runs in the sixth broke the game open.

The Pioneers opened the series on Friday with wins by scores of 12-2 and 8-3.

Tom Birko came up big in Saturday's opener going 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Don McDuffee and Chaz Russo both had two hits, and Point Park had nine hits as a team. The Pioneers also patiently drew eight walks with Marlon Leyva being issued three and Russo two.

Trailing, 5-3, entering the sixth inning, the Pioneers pushed a run across when Russo, Javy Marticorena, Jordan Crowell and Leyva all walked in succession. Birko then lifted a fly ball to right field, and two runs scored as the ball dropped in for an error. That gave the Pioneers a 6-5 lead, and Tom Pasinski tacked on another run with his squeeze bunt.

Berea built the 5-3 lead on Point Park starter Nathan Sphon, who gave up five runs on eight hits in 4.0 innings. Sphon got the no-decision, and Josh Brooks got the win in 2.0 innings of scoreless relief. Brooks (1-0) struck out two and gave up two hits. Ryan Loutsenhizer earned up the save with a 1-2-3 seventh.

Besides the four runs in the sixth, Point Park's earlier scoring included Crowell's sacrifice fly in the first, Birko's RBI single in the third and Birko's RBI double in the fifth. Berea took a 4-2 lead in the fourth with Matthew Eversole's solo homer, Logan Hunt's double and Johnathan Ives' RBI single.

In the second game, Point Park battered six Berea pitchers for 20 runs on 21 hits and seven walks. All 20 runs were earned. McDuffee was 3 for 5 with four runs and three RBIs, and Novia was 3 for 4 with three runs and an RBI to lead the way with three-hit games.

Picking up two hits apiece were Russo, Leyva, Birko and Tyler Cattapan. Birko and Cattapan drove in three runs each, and Leyva knocked in a pair.

Austin Pressly went 4.2 innings to get the victory for Point Park. The WVU transfer gave up three runs on four hits with three strikeouts and four walks. Brooks came on for another 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, and Jon Corcoran gave up one run on two hits and struck out two the last 1.0 innings.

The current, six-game win streak has come entirely in KIAC play to vault the Pioneers into first place in the conference. Point Park sits atop the standings at 8-4 followed by IU Southeast (7-4 KIAC), Brescia (7-5), Asbury (6-6), Alice Lloyd (5-7) and Berea (2-9).

Point Park picked up a make-up game Monday, April 1 at Salem International with the single game starting at 1 p.m. The Pioneers are scheduled to host Clarion on Tuesday, April 2 at 1 p.m. (DH).

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