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Baseball News

Pioneers take two from Cedarville in AMC doubleheader that featured nine homers

April 22, 2010

ROBINSON TWP., Pa. – Point Park University and Cedarville University combined to hit nine home runs during an American Mideast Conference baseball doubleheader Thursday, and Point Park hit two homers each game to sweep the twin bill.


On a windy day at Frank J. Marko Field at Burkett Recreation complex, Point Park (11-26, 4-18 AMC) won the first game, 9-6, as Lee Bodnar (Chartiers/Chartiers Valley) hit a three-run homer and Dave Angle (Pittsburgh/Pine-Richland) blasted a two-run homer.

Grise action vs. WAU

The Pioneers won the second game, 10-6, after a grand slam by Brian Grise (Munhall/Steel Valley) broke the game open by finishing off a six-run second inning. After Cedarville cut the lead to 7-6 on a grand slam by Nate Davenport in the third, Kyle Lucot (South Park/South Park) smashed a two-run home run to put the Pioneers ahead, 10-6 in the fifth.

PICTURED RIGHT: Grise takes a swing during Monday's game vs. Washington Adventist.
Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.

Prior to Thursday, the Pioneers and their opponents had combined to hit only 10 home runs in games played at Frank J. Marko Field this year. On Thursday, Point Park and Cedarville nearly doubled the season total thus far. To date, Point Park has seven homers at home, and its opponents have 12 there.

Cedarville (22-19, 6-12 AMC) had little offense outside of its homers. Three of the Yellow Jackets’ seven hits in the opener were long balls with Andrew York, Rob Nesterhoff and David Convertini each going deep. York and Nestoroff each homered with a runner on while Convertini’s solo shot came two batters after York’s blast in the fifth.

In the second game, all six of Cedarville’s runs came via home runs as Convertini’s two-run shot in the first was followed two innings later by Davenport’s grand slam.

Bodnar’s three-run homer came in the first inning of game one. The sophomore third baseman was 5 for 7 with four RBIs on the day, and he extended his hitting streak to 10 games. An injury allowed Bodnar to step into a starting role on April 10, and since then, he has hit safely in every game and gone 21 for 35 (.600) at the plate.

Angle’s two-run shot in the third gave Point Park a 7-3 lead in the opener. The junior designated hitter established a career high with his sixth homer this year, and he was 3 for 4 with five RBIs and two runs in the first game. He didn’t get much to hit in the nightcap on his way to being walked twice and hit by a pitch.

Grise’s grand slam in the second game was the first homer of his career, and it allowed Point Park to take a 7-2 lead after two innings. The junior center fielder’s homer came during an inning that featured six runs on two hits. After two wild pitches each allowed a run to score, two walks and a two-out error loaded the bases for Grise’s big fly.

Lucot also hit the first home run of his career, and the left-handed hitting Lucot turned on a inside pitch to jack it to right field. That two-run blast gave the Pioneers breathing room after Davenport’s ninth homer of the year cut it to 7-6 in the third.

Point Park got two great starts from a pair of hard-throwing right-handers. In the first game, Ryan Loutsenhizer (North Huntingdon/Norwin) went six strong innings, and the only mistakes he made were that three of the seven hits he gave up were homers.

Loutsenhizer, a 6-4 freshman, got the victory after striking out two and walking three. Loutsenhizer is 2-4 on the year.

Nick Merich (Peters Twp./Peters Twp.) earned the save by pitching a scoreless seventh. The sophomore righty turned in his second strong relief appearance in a row to get the first save of his career. The Yellow Jackets had the tying run at the plate in the form of the big-hitting Davenport, but Merich cut him down on strikes to end the game.

In the second game, Derek Peluso (Zelienople/Seneca Valley) pitched a complete game to get his second victory of the year. Peluso, a sophomore right-hander, struck out six, walked one and gave up nine hits. Following the grand slam in the third, Peluso yielded only three hits over the last four innings.

Point Park pounded out 15 hits in Thursday’s opener. Along with Angle and Bodnar, the No. 4 and 5 hitters in the lineup, with three hits apiece, other hitting leaders included Bryce Pfeuffer (Robinson Twp./Montour), Dan Campbell (Baldwin/Baldwin) and Brandon Haburjak (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic) with two hits each.

Cedarville entered this week leading the AMC in team earned-run average, but Point Park beat up on the Yellow Jackets’ pitching. Game-one starter Clint Price, a senior, lasted only 2.2 innings before giving up seven runs on 10 hits. Price yielded the homers to Bodnar and Angle, and he also gave up runs on an RBI triple by Angle and a run-scoring base hit by Lucot. Haburjak had preceded Lucot’s single with a one-out triple to right.

In the second game, Point Park needed only eight hits to produce nine runs. The Pioneers took advantage of eight walks, a hit batter and an error by Cedarville’s pitchers. Starter Colby Stotlzfus (2-5) last 4.1 innings, and he left after giving up Lucot’s long ball. Stoltzfus gave up 10 runs – only six of which were earned – on five hits, two strikeouts and seven walks.

Bodnar drove in runs on a fielder’s choice in the first and double in the fourth. The six-run second inning started with a walk to Robert Munoz (Miami, Fla./South Miami) and a double by Lucot. Courtesy runner Frank Marko (Robinson Twp./Montour) and Lucot each came home via wild pitches, and Grise’s slam came after three straight reached base with two outs.

Point Park will celebrate its Senior Day Friday as the AMC series concludes with Cedarville. The teams will play another doubleheader tomorrow with the first pitch set for 1 p.m. at Frank J. Marko Field.

Senior pitchers Seth Martin (Verona/Penn Hills) and Joe Cox (Swissvale/Central Catholic) are scheduled to start Friday, and other seniors include first baseman Campbell, catcher Haburjak and right fielder Jesse Pesanka (Baldwin/Baldwin). Pesanka had his season end two weeks ago with a hand injury.