No. 21 Point Park finishes sweep of Brescia (Ky.), moves closer to KIAC title
April 12, 2015 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Andy Chacon gets a high five from Chaz Russo after his solo HR in Game 1 Sunday. Photo by Sam Robinson.
BUTLER, Pa. -- No. 21 Point Park University baseball finished off a four-game sweep of Brescia (Ky.) with two wins on Sunday, 2-1 and 9-5, at Kelly Automotive Park and moved closer to the KIAC regular season title.
The Pioneers (29-6, 14-2 KIAC) now lead the KIAC standings by 3.0 games with four conference games to play. The Pioneers are 3.0 games ahead of second-place IU Southeast (26-12, 11-5 KIAC), and the teams conclude their KIAC schedules next weekend with four games in Pittsburgh.
The great starting pitching that Point Park got on Saturday continued on Sunday. Junior left-hander Jason Kim (6-1) won the first-game by a score of 2-1 with a complete-game effort. Jarrad Brown (5-1) followed that up with six innings of three-hit ball to win the nightcap. The junior righty did not give up an earned run.
Point Park starting pitchers gave up only five runs (three earned) in 25.0 innings during the four-game series. That put the Pioneers' pitching staff 11th in the country in team ERA at 2.83 for the season.
Kim's victory on Sunday -- his fourth complete game in seven starts -- featured six shutout innings to begin his outing. The native of La Crescenta, Calif., did not allow a runner past second base until the seventh inning, when Brescia put together two hits, a sacrifice bunt and a fielder's choice to cut the score to 2-1.
But Kim stranded the potential tying run at third base to end the game and ended up with three strikeouts and no walks. Brescia collected just five hits with two of them coming in the last inning.
There was not much offense for the Pioneers in game one as Andy Chacon's solo homer in the second inning was Point Park's only hit. That made the score 2-0 on Chacon's team-leading fifth home run of the year, a laser over the deep wall in left.
Brescia starter Kegan Graves (1-2) took the loss despite allowing just the one hit in a complete game of six innings. He struck out four and was hurt by four walks, two of which came in the first inning.
Point Park's Demetrius Moorer and Shane Conley each walked to begin the bottom of the first. A sacrifice bunt by Stefan Mrkonja and an RBI groundout by Oscar Romero hleped bring in the first run of the game.
The early part of Sunday's nightcap had the makings of another pitcher's duel just like the previous two games in the series. But once the Pioneers wore down Brescia starter Christian McHatton and got into the Bearcats' bullpen, they stretched the lead out to 9-1 with six runs in the fifth.
Point Park's big inning included three different pitchers tossing for Brescia in the frame. Three straight line drives by Conley, Mrkonja and Romero spelled the end of the day for McHatton, and the last of those was an RBI single from Romero.
Brescia went to reliever Cesar Soto, who did not have much luck with a hit batter and a walk -- both of which forced in a run -- and then Jake Horew's run-scoring single. The outburst was capped off by Moorer's sacrifice fly off of Ryan Lutz.
Point Park totaled 10 hits in the game with Mrkonja, Russo and Horew tallying two apiece. Horew drove in three runs. He lifted a sacrifice fly in the second for a 1-0 lead, and his RBI double in the fourth gave the Pioneers a 2-1 edge. Robert DeSantiago, who collected two RBIs, brought home a run with a suicide squeeze bunt right after Horew's double to make it 3-1.
Brescia had tied the score a 1-1 with the aid of an infield throwing error in the third. That came after a single by Zach Capps and two straight sacrifice bunts. Point Park did not get an out on either of the bunts and pitcher Brown threw the ball away on the second one, which led to the run.
But that was the only mistake of Brown. He improved to 5-1 in six starts by picking up four strikeouts compared to no walks in his six innings. After throwing the ball away to allow the unearned run, Brown retired the next 10 batters in a row to settle into a groove.
The first of those 10 straight batters retired changed the complexion of the game. Point Park was in trouble with runners at second and third with only one out. Brescia was looking for its first lead of the series and got a deep flyball by McHatton to center field.
But Daniel Lokesak did not tag up from third and got a late jump to the plate. Moorer hit cut-off man Horew, the shortstop, who pegged Lokesak at the plate. Justin Cessna followed with a strikeout to end the threat, and Brown allowed just one more hit.
McHatton ended up with the loss and responsible for six runs (five earned) on nine hits. His four innings included two strikeouts and no walks. He was one of fourth Bearcats pitchers in the game.
Point Park's next game is home versus future KIAC member Ohio Christian on Thursday at 2 p.m. The Pioneers conclude KIAC play next weekend versus IU Southeast with doubleheaders Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at 12 p.m., a series that will decide the KIAC regular season championship.