No. 24 Point Park picks up NAIA victories over visiting Talladega (Ala.)
April 23, 2015 at 11:10 p.m. ET
Nolan Krivijanski allowed two runs on three hits in six innings to win Game 2. Photo by Sam Robinson.
PITTSBURGH -- No. 24 Point Park University had its pitching and hitting come together to add up to victories of 8-1 and 8-4 over visiting Talladega (Ala.) in an NAIA baseball non-conference doubleheader on Thursday at Point Park Field at Green Tree Park.
Point Park (34-11, 16-4 KIAC) had starting pitchers Nate Sphon (6-3) and Nolan Krivijanski (6-2) each go six strong innings to quiet the bats of the 12th-ranked scoring offense in the NAIA of Talladega (27-22, 10-4 GCAC) to earn the victories.
Offensively, Point Park banged out 17 hits on the day to amount to eight runs in each game. The Pioneers scored seven times in the second inning of game one to stake an 8-1 lead and were up 8-2 in the nightcap before a couple of late, unearned runs.
The teams conclude the four-game series on Friday with two more games at Point Park Field with first pitch at 12 p.m. Live video streaming and live stats will be available.
Talladega, which scores 7.7 runs per game to rank 12th in the NAIA and boasts a .318 team batting average, looked to be ready for a big day at the plate when the first three batters of the afternoon produced a single by Jean Marmol, a sacrifice bunt by Mark Collier and an RBI single by slugger Hector Corona, who has 10 homers on the year.
But that was the only scoring done against Sphon, who blanked the Tornadoes for the rest of his outing. The senior lefty from Greensburg, Pa., yielded six hits -- all singles -- struck out four and walked one in six innings. Talladega ranks 20th in the NAIA in home runs, but Sphon kept the bats off balance.
Luis Romero pitched the seventh inning to finish off the 8-1 victory, which had Point Park erupt for a big second inning with seven runs in the second.
The Pioneers had six hits in the inning, and it all started with Jordan Crowell's double. Two batters later, Jake Horew knocked him in with another double. Demetrius Moorer followed with a base hit to score two, and Edberg Dominguez followed that with an RBI double.
The next batter, Stefan Mrkonja, ripped an RBI double of his own, and after a walk to Oscar Romero, Andy Chacon ripped another RBI double. Chaz Russo's sacrifice fly capped off the inning.
Dominguez led the offense going 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Moorer was 1 for 2 with two walks and two RBIs.
Just like Sphon had done earlier in the day, Krivijanski shut down a good hitting Talladega team in game two. He gave up only three hits in his six innings, struck out three and walked one. A couple of wild pitches with men at third accounted for the only runs against him, one in the first and one in the fourth.
The first wild pitch gave Talladega the early lead, but Point Park was able to string together four hits in the third to go in front, 2-1. With two outs and no one on, singles by Dominguez, Mrkonja, Romero and Chacon in succession produced the runs with the last two base hits getting RBIs.
In the fourth, Horew's fourth homer of the year, a solo shot to left field, broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Pioneers the lead once again. Point Park put together a five-run sixth to build the 8-2 lead later on.
The sixth inning had Dominguez blast an RBI double and Chacon knock a two-run double off the wall in center field. Point Park totaled 10 hits in the game with Chacon going 3 for 3 with three RBIs. Dominguez, Mrkonja and Horew collected two hits apiece.
Jake Horew pitched the seventh inning for Point Park, and although Talladega got a couple of runs to make the final score was 8-4, both were unearned. Horew, the Pioneers' closer, has still not given up an earned run in 17.0 innings and would have set Talladega down in order but for a lead-off error.