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Baseball News

Point Park opens AMC baseball schedule by splitting with Notre Dame (OH)

March 19, 2010

ROBINSON TWP., Pa. – The Point Park University baseball team opened American Mideast Conference play Friday afternoon by splitting two games with visiting Notre Dame (OH).


Point Park (5-8, 1-1 AMC) hung on to win the second game, 8-5, after jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning.Notre Dame (12-5, 1-1) won the first game, 4-0, on the strength of a two-hit shutout by winning pitcher Justin Miller.


The AMC rivals conclude their four-game set with another doubleheader at Point Park Saturday. The first pitch at Frank J. Marko Field at Burkett Recreation & Sports Complex is set for 1 p.m.

Tomorrow’s games will not be broadcast live on internet radio by WPPJ-AM 670 as previously advertised. Technical difficulties at the station have interrupted the scheduled broadcast, but select home games will be carried by the student station later this season.

The win in game two snapped a three-game losing skid for the Pioneers. On the season, Point Park is 0-6 in the first game of doubleheaders and 4-2 in the second game of doubleheaders.

Joe Cox (Pittsburgh/Swissvale), a senior left-hander, improved to 3-0 by picking up the win in the second game. Cox held Notre Dame scoreless the first five innings, and he ended up pitching six innings in all. Cox struck out six, walked two and gave up seven hits. In three starts, Cox is unbeaten with a 2.40 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .214 against him.

The Point Park offense gave Cox an early lead by scoring five runs in the first inning off Notre Dame starter and losing pitcher Tyler DeCrapio.

After two outs, Jesse Pesanka (Baldwin/Baldwin) ripped an RBI single, Lee Bodnar (Chartiers/Chartiers Valley) drew a bases-loaded walk and Brian Grise (Munhall/Steel Valley) capped off the inning by delivering a three-run triple to make it 5-0.

DeCrapio (2-1) lasted two innings, and Point Park made it 6-0 when Dan Campbell (Baldwin/Baldwin) touched reliever Matt Fritz for a run-scoring single in the fourth. Campbell was 3 for 4 with two RBIs in game two after drawing three walks in the first game.

Notre Dame got back into the game when Jesse Bartle smashed a three-run homer in the sixth to cut it to 6-3. An error and a walk set the table for Bartle’s blast.

But Point Park tacked on two insurance runs in its half of the sixth for an 8-3 lead. Kyle Lucot (South Park/South Park) led off with a single. Lucot came around to score on an error following a base hit by Bryce Pfeuffer (Robinson Twp./Montour).  Then Campbell laced a double to the right-field corner to drive in Pfeuffer.

In the top of the seventh, Point Park turned things over to its bullpen. Sophomore reliever Mike Tullio (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) faced three batters, but the transfer from Palm Beach CC could not get an out.

With Point Park leading, 8-3, and the bases loaded, reliever Derek Peluso (Zelienople/Seneca Valley) entered the game. Two runs scored on a walk and a sacrifice fly, but Peluso was able to get out of the jam and earn his second save. After a two-out single loaded the bases, the sophomore right-hander induced a ground out to second to end the game and strand three runners.

Point Park had 12 hits in the second game, and Campbell led the way with three. Other hitting leaders were Pfeuffer and Tom Birko (Coraopolis/Montour) with two hits apiece.

In the first game, Point Park couldn’t solve Miller, who tallied eight strikeouts and got great support from his defense. Each team turned three double plays in game one, but Notre Dame’s twin killings snuffed out Point Park threats each time.

Miller retired Point Park in order in five of the seven innings. On two occasions, a double play allowed Miller to get out of an inning after facing only three batters.

Point Park starter Seth Martin (Verona/Penn Hills) was the tough-luck loser, and the senior right-hander dropped to 1-2 on the year. Martin did his part to give Point Park a chance to win by yielding only four runs in a complete-game effort.

Martin gave up 10 hits, and nine of them were singles. He struck out four, walked two and gave up a pair of runs each in the first and fourth innings.

Notre Dame pushed across two runs in the first with the help of four singles – two of which didn’t leave the infield. A bunt single put two runners on to set up Tony Younis’ run-scoring base hit. With runners at first and third, Travis Brown’s single to the hole at short made it 2-0.

In the fourth, a lead-off single by Brown and a double by Benji Jarabeck put runners at second and third. A balk moved both runners up, and Jarabeck came home on a groundout. Before Brown’s base hit to start the fourth, Martin had retired eight in a row. The senior from Verona, Pa., did not allow a runner past second after Jarabeck scored.

Notre Dame was 4-28 last season, but is 12-5 overall and 1-1 in the AMC this year under second-year coach Nick Weisheipl. Point Park swept four conference games from the Falcons a year ago.