Point Park falls to Rio Grande in KIAC Tournament, faces elimination next
May 1, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. ET
KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- No. 2 seed Rio Grande scored six runs the last three innings to rally past No. 1 seed Point Park University, 6-3, at the KIAC Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon.
With the loss, Point Park (37-12) falls to the loser's bracket on Friday night at 6 p.m. where it will play the winner of No. 3 IU Southeast (35-17) and No. 6 Asbury (Ky.) (11-35) in the loser's bracket final. IU Southeast and Asbury play Friday at 3 p.m.
Rio Grande (31-20), which has now won 11 straight games, advances to the championship round Saturday at 1 p.m. The RedStorm will await the loser's bracket champion and will need to be beaten twice to be eliminated.
Point Park led Rio Grande, 2-0, after five innings and, 3-2, after seven innings. But Rio Grande took the lead for good in the top of the eighth, 4-3, with a couple of runs. The RedStorm added two insurance runs in the ninth to pad the lead.
Jason Kim (8-2) took the loss in 8.0 innings of work for Point Park. He pitched into the eighth inning and was charged with four runs (three earned) on seven hits. He struck out three and walked one.
Kim gave up a one-out double to Kevin Arroyo in the top of the eighth, which tied the score at 3-3. Kim got the second out of the inning via a groundout, but as the Pioneers tried to peg Arroyo trying to advance to third, the throw got away. Arroyo raced in with the eventual winning run.
Walks to Point Park's Jordan Crowell and Jake Horew in the bottom of the eighth were followed by a groundout by Chris Hernandez. That moved the runners up into scoring position with two outs, but Demetrius Moorer flew out to end the threat.
Rio Grande's two runs in the ninth came off of reliever Jake Horew, the first earned runs he has given up all year. Run-scoring singles by Cody Blackburn and Grant Tamane both came with two outs and were two of the three hits in the inning.
Down 6-3 in the ninth, Point Park went down in order versus Rio Grande reliever Daryin Lewis (4-1), who got the victory in 2.1 innings of relief. He gave up only one hit in his outing to close it out.
The game was scoreless the first 4.5 innings as Point Park starter Kim and Rio Grande starter Trent Downs were locked in a pitcher's duel. Downs went 6.2 innings and gave up seven hits and three runs. He picked up four strikeouts and three walks.
It was Point Park that struck first with RBI singles by Demetrius Moorer and Shane Conley in the bottom of the fifth. The inning got started with a leadoff single from Horew and a sacrifice bunt by Hernandez.
Kim had the 2-0 lead standing up until the top of the seventh when Lewis delivered a two-run single with one out to tie it. The previous batter, Chris Ford, doubled off the wall in center field put runners at second and third.
No matter, Point Park came right back in the bottom of the seventh with Romero's RBI single with two outs. That scored pinch runner Cole Johnson, who had moved up to Stefan Mrkonja's base hit.