No. 23 Point Park's offense comes alive to take series at Alice Lloyd (Ky.)
March 29, 2015
Shane Conley scores a run in a home game versus Alice Lloyd last year. Photo by Sam Robinson.
PIPPA PASSES, Ky. -- After scoring a total of five runs on Saturday and splitting the first two games at Alice Lloyd (Ky.), No. 23 Point Park University left nothing to chance and had its offense put up 28 runs and 29 hits on Sunday to win the final two games of the KIAC baseball series, 15-7 and 13-1. The Pioneers won the series, three games to one.
Point Park (20-5, 7-1 KIAC) banged out 14 hits in Sunday's first game and added another 15 hits in the second game. The victories keep Point Park in first place in the KIAC standings, one game ahead of next weekend's opponent and conference newcomer Rio Grande (16-14, 6-2 KIAC).
Senior first baseman and cleanup hitter Oscar Romero was one of the many standout performers on the day. He was 6 for 8 with six RBIs and four runs in the doubleheader.
There were five Point Park players who had multiple RBIs in the first game led by Romero going 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Senior second baseman Chaz Russo was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and scored twice. He ripped an RBI double in the second inning to help the Pioneers erase an early, 3-0 deficit. Demetrius Moorer, who was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, added an RBI single in the inning.
Trailing 3-2, Point Park exploded for five runs in the third. Highlights of the outburst were Romero's run-scoring double, Russo's sacrifice fly and Logan Linder's pinch-hit double that brought home two runs and made the score 7-3.
Alice Lloyd pecked away at the lead and got within 9-7, but Point Park had another big inning in store. The Pioneers put up six runs in the top of the seventh for a 15-7 advantage. There were six hits in the inning with doubles by Andy Chacon and Moorer both bringing in runs as well as base hits from Stefan Mrkonja, Romero, Chris Hernandez and Jake Horew.
Junior left-hander Jason Kim (4-1) got the start for Point Park and earned the win in 4.1 innings pitched. He was charged with seven runs, but only two of them were earned. Alice Lloyd took its 3-0 lead with three unearned runs in the bottom of the first.
Point Park made four errors that helped the Eagles get within a couple of runs, but the offense and the bullpen kept the Pioneers in front. Zach Zimmerman came in for 1.2 innings of middle relief, and he maintained the 9-7 lead. He picked up two strikeouts and did not give up a hit or a run. Anthony Garofalo finished off the game with a scoreless seventh inning.
The Pioneers offense picked up right where it left off to begin the second game. Four runs in the first and three more in the second had Point Park ahead, 7-0.
Leading Point Park's 15-hit attack were Shane Conley at 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs and Romero at 3 for 4 with four RBIs and three runs. Stefan Mrkonja was 3 for 5 with two RBIs and three runs.
The four-run first included Conley's RBI single and Romero's two-run base hit. Four more hits came in the second with singles by Conley, Mrkonja and Romero each driving in runs.
Jordan Crowell, who was 1 for 3, bumped the lead to 9-0 with a two-run single in the fifth. An inning later, it was 11-0 after Romero's double and Chacon's single brought home two more. For good measure, Linder came up with an another RBI pinch-hit in the seventh. He later scored on Mrkonja's double.
Point Park cruised to the 11-0 lead as a result of Game 2 starter Jake Horew tossing five shutout innings. Horew, normally the Pioneers' shortstop and closer, got his first start of the year. Horew (2-0) earned the win with only three hits and no runs given up in his five innings. He struck out two, walked one and kept his ERA at 0.00 in six appearances.
Luis Romero and Keenan Smith both pitched one inning out of the Point Park bullpen to finish off the series.
Point Park's next games are at home versus Ohio Christian on Tuesday, March 31. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m., and it marks the first games to be played at Point Park Field at Green Tree Park this year.
Follow Tuesday's games with live video on the Point Park Sports Network. Live stats will also be available. Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports and @PPUBaseball.