Point Park (4-5) finishes spring trip with two victories on final day
March 4, 2010
AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Point Park University baseball team will travel north with a 4-5 record after winning the final two games of its spring trip to the Russ Matt Central Florida Invitational.
The Pioneers (4-5) ended their nine-game spring swing with a 4-3 victory over Clearwater (Fla.) Christian Thursday night. That was the third game of a busy day for Point Park, which split a doubleheader earlier in the day with William Penn (Iowa).
William Penn (5-4) won the opener, 12-2, in five innings, and Point Park returned the favor by winning the second game, 14-4, in five.
Bryce Pfeuffer (Robinson Twp./Montour) was the hitting star for the Pioneers on the final day of the trip. The junior second baseman (pictured) was 6 for 10 with six RBIs in the three games to boost his season average to .379.
Pfeuffer registered his second three-hit game of the young season by going 3 for 3 with three RBIs in the lopsided win over William Penn. He followed that up by delivering the game-winning hit -- a three-run homer -- in the sixth inning of the 4-3 win over Clearwater Christian.
Pfeuffer's three-run blast gave Point Park starter Seth Martin (Verona/Penn Hills) a 4-3 lead, and right-handed reliever Derek Peluso (Zelienople/Seneca Valley) came on in the bottom of the seventh to record the save.
Martin, a senior right-hander, got the win in six innings of work to improve his record to 1-1. Martin scattered nine hits, struck out four and walked three. The tying run got on base in the seventh, but Peluso notched his first save of the year by getting the final two batters to go down looking.
Point Park had taken a 1-0 lead over Clearwater Christian when Kyle Lucot (South Park/South Park) ripped an RBI single. Lucot, a junior left-fielder has the top batting average on the team at .417 after hitting safely in seven of the nine games on the trip.
Lucot was 3 for 4 with four RBIs in the 14-4 win over William Penn. The Pioneers had 14 hits in all, and that was more than enough for Point Park starter Joe Cox (Swissvale/Central Catholic) and reliever Joe Downar (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Heartley).
Cox, who tossed a three-hit shutout on Sunday, worked the first two innings Thursday on three days rest before handing things over to Downar for the final three frames. Cox earned the victory to bump his record to 2-0 after striking out one and walking one. Downar, a junior right-hander, picked up his first save with two strikeouts and no walks in three innings.
Point Park scored five runs in the second to erase a 2-0 deficit. Big hits in the inning included a two-run single by Lucot, an RBI base hit by Pfeuffer and a two-run double by Dave Angle (Pittsburgh/Pine-Richland). Angle is hitting .304 with a team-high .652 slugging percentage.
The Pioneers put the mercy rule into affect with eight runs in the fifth. Lucot had two RBI singles in the inning as Point Park sent 13 men to the plate. After Lucot's first single plated a run, Pfeuffer followed to batters later with a base hit that drove in two runners.
Three hit batters, a walk, a wild pitch and a passed ball contributed to the big inning, which also included an RBI single by senior Jesse Pesanka (Baldwin/Baldwin).
Freshman catcher Robert Munoz (Miami, Fla./South Miami) had two hits and scored three runs in the win. Junior center-fielder Brian Grise (Munhall/Steel Valley) had two hits in each of Thursday's wins, starting with a 2-for-3 performance with two runs and two RBIs versus William Penn.
Grise, who started the year with a four-game hitting streak, is second on the team in batting at .409.
William Penn, an NAIA team and a member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference, won the first game, 12-1, after first bsaeman Kyle Humphrey hit three home runs.
Humphrey had a three-run homer as part of a four-run first, and he added a solo shot in the third. He capped of his impressive day with a two-run blast during a seven-run fourth as the Statesmen took a 12-0 lead.
Point Park had six hits, committed two errors and got its only run in the seventh. A base hit and a walk set up two runners on for Ricky Cordido (Caracas, Venezuela), who delivered an RBI single.
The Pioneers rearranged their schedule to include the night game versus Clearwater Christian (3-10), which had won three in a row following an 0-9 start. Originally, the two teams planned to play a doubleheader on Friday, but scheduling conflicts did not allow that to happen. Instead, Point Park will return home to Pittsburgh on Friday.
Interestingly, the Pioneers completed their trip with a 4-1 record in games that were not the first game of a doubleheader. Point Park played four doubleheaders and lost the opening game each time.
Point Park earned at least a split every day during the trip. The only day the Pioneers did not get a win was Monday, when they were swept by Bethel (Ind.).
Point Park will not be in action for nearly two weeks as their next game is March 17. The Pioneers play at doubleheader at Wheeling Jesuit that day beginning at 2 p.m. Point Park makes its home debut in its American Mideast Conference doubleheader March 19 versus Notre Dame (OH).