IU Southeast takes two from Point Park to begin KIAC baseball series
April 18, 2015 at 7:00 a.m. ET
Demetrius Moorer checks his swing on Friday vs. IU Southeast. Photo by Sam Robinson.
PITTSBURGH -- IU Southeast won both games versus No. 21 Point Park University on Friday, 6-4 and 5-3, to begin an important KIAC baseball series at Point Park Field at Green Tree Park.
The Grenadiers (29-13, 13-5 KIAC) got the better of Point Park (29-10, 14-4 KIAC) on the day to cut the Pioneers' lead on first place in the KIAC to a single game entering Saturday's doubleheader, the final games of the conference season for both teams.
The KIAC regular season title will be on the line Saturday, April 18 when IU Southeast plays another two games at Point Park with the doubleheader to begin at 12 p.m. at Point Park Field at Green Tree Park. Admission is Free.
Point Park entered the day with a 3.0 game lead on first place with four games to play over IU Southeast and Rio Grande, who were tied for second place at 11-5 KIAC. But after IU Southeast used some big swings of the bat to erase a couple of early Point Park leads on Friday, the conference lead of the Pioneers is down to a single game.
Point Park built a 4-1 lead in the first game Friday but a three-run homer by IU Southeast's Logan Coughlin in the fifth inning gave the Grenadiers the 6-4 lead that ended up being the final score. That capped off a five-run inning.
Point Park had a 2-1 lead in the early going of the second game, but Coughlin struck again. His two-run homer in the third put IU Southeast up, 3-2. An inning later, a two-run home run by Nick Pope upped IU Southeast's lead to 5-2.
In building the 4-1 lead in the first game, Point Park got a sacrifice fly from Stefan Mrkonja and an RBI single from Andy Chacon in the bottom of the first for a 2-1 advantage. Two innings later, Chris Hernandez delivered an RBI single to make it 4-1.
But Point Park could not get any more runs across in that game as Grenadiers starter Michael Fitzwater handed the 6-4 lead over to his bullpen. Fitzwater pitched four innings to earn the win. Bryan Nacke then threw two scoreless innings, and closer Evan Bickett finished things off for the Grenadiers.
Nate Sphon (5-3) took the loss in the first game. He went 5.1 innings and gave up nine hits with five of them coming in the decisive fifth inning. Zach Zimmerman pitched the final 1.2 innings to hold things there.
In the second game, IU Southeast got a strong start out of winning pitcher Clint Chestnut (5-2), who gave up just three hits in his six innings of work. He struck out five and walked one before turning it over to Bickett for the seventh. Bickett did pick up his second save of the day but not before surviving two walks in the inning.
Point Park was ahead, 2-0, after one as Chacon and Jordan Crowell delivered RBI singles in the bottom of the first. But the Pioneers got just one hit off of Chestnut the rest of the way.
They manufactured a run in the fifth to cut the score to 5-3 when Shane Conley walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and came around to score when Mrkonja and Oscar Romero grounded out in succession.
Nolan Krivijanski (5-2) started game two for Point Park and took the loss in 4.1 innings. He gave up five runs with four of them accounted for on two swings of the bat -- the two-run homers by Coughlin and Pope.
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