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Baseball News

Point Park splits AMC games with Walsh in pair of one-run contests

April 10, 2010

ROBINSON TWP., Pa. – Point Park University and Walsh University split an American Mideast Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday at Frank J. Marko Field, and each game was decided by one run.



Point Park (8-21, 2-14 AMC) won the first game, 6-5, when Lee Bodnar (Chartiers/Chartiers Valley) drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to force in the winning run. Point Park’s Joe Cox (Swissvale/Central Catholic) pitched all nine innings to get the victory and improve to 4-2 on the year.

Pictured left: Lee Bodnar was 4 for 7 with four RBIs on the day.
Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.

Walsh (14-20, 7-9 AMC) won the second game, 5-4, after scoring two runs in the top of the seventh to erase a 4-3 deficit. The Cavaliers won three of four games in the weekend series and have now won six of their last eight AMC games following a 1-7 start to conference play.

In the second game, Point Park got the lead-off man on in the bottom of the seventh when Bodnar singled. Pinch runner Dave Durso (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic) moved up to second when Dave Angle (Pittsburgh/Pine Richland) was hit by a pitch with two outs, but both runners were stranded when the game ended.

In the first game, Bodnar was 2 for 3 with a home run and three RBIs. His solo shot in the fourth – the first home run of his career – tied the score at 1-1. In the bottom of the seventh, his infield single with two outs drove in a run to tie the score at 5-5.

The Point Park ninth started when Kyle Lucot (South Park/South Park) reached on an error, and Tom Birko (Coraopolis/Montour) walked. Bryce Pfeuffer (Robinson Twp./Montour) moved both runners with a bunt, and the Cavaliers elected to intentionally walk the next batter, Dan Campbell (Baldwin/Baldwin).

The last two pitches to Bodnar narrowly missed the strike zone, but the sophomore third baseman drew a walk on the 3-2 pitch nonetheless.

The Pioneers may have been able to win game one without going into extra innings, but Walsh scored four runs on four hits and four errors in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. The Pioneers committed six errors in all. Big hits in the Walsh fifth included an RBI single by Mark Miller and a run-scoring double by Dustin Lancy.

The Pioneers responded by picking up two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Lucot’s lead-off single was by followed by a triple from Birko. The third batter of the inning, Pfeuffer, lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3.

Point Park’s Brian Grise (Munnhall/Steel Valley) started the sixth with a double down the left-field line, and three batters later he scored on a base hit from Ricky Cordido (Caracas, Venezuela).

Cox was able to overcome the six errors to get the win. The senior lefty struck out four, walked two and gave up eight hits in nine innings. After Walsh took its 5-1 lead, Cox retired 10 batters in a row and 14 of the last 16 to end the game.

Walsh’s David Roper pitched the first six innings with seven strikeouts and three walks, but it was reliever Joe Taylor (0-1) who took the loss in the last 2.1 innings. Taylor struck out one and yielded three walks.

In game two, Walsh scored all five of its runs across the last three innings to win. Each team had 10 hits. Point Park left 10 men on base, which was just one more than Walsh. Point Park left at least one man on base in every inning, and Walsh did the same in its last six times at bat.

Point Park built a 3-0 lead after four innings. Key hits early in the game included Bodnar’s RBI single in the first, Lucot’s run-scoring double in the second, and Pfeuffer’s RBI double in the fourth.

Point Park managed just one run off of Walsh reliever Billy Gura, who pitched the final three innings to get the victory. Gura struck out one and gave up four hits.

Point Park starter Derek Peluso (Zelienople/Seneca Valley) blanked Walsh the first four innings, but the Cavs got to him in the fifth. With two outs and a runner at second, Mark Miller ripped an RBI single. An outfield error allowed the ball to roll to the fence as Miller came all the way around to score on the play.

An inning later, a lead-off triple and a sacrifice fly tied the score at 3-3.

But Point Park managed to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth after Cordido led off with a single. Cordido was bunted to second by Lucot, and he scored on Birko’s double. Birko, a freshman, had two hits in each game.

Walsh got two runners aboard quickly in the seventh via a walk and an error. A base hit through the infield tied the score, and with two outs and runners at the corners, Steve Wido ripped a base hit for the go-ahead run.

With runners still at first and third, center fielder Grise made an outstanding catch in left center to preserve a couple runs and rob Tim Hromada of extra bases.

Peluso ended up taking the loss with two strikeouts and three walks in seven innings. The sophomore right-hander gave up 10 hits and only two of the five runs charged to him were earned.

Point Park gets back in action by hosting Washington Adventist for non-conference doubleheader Tuesday afternoon (1 p.m.).