No. 22 Malone completes AMC weekend sweep of Point Park
March 27, 2010
CANTON, Ohio – Twenty-second ranked Malone University completed a weekend sweep of Point Park University with two victories Saturday in an American Mideast Conference baseball doubleheader at Thurman Munson Stadium.
Malone (20-5) improved to 4-0 in the AMC by defeating Point Park (5-14, 1-7 AMC) by scores of 5-2 and 6-1. Malone opened the four-game series Friday by topping Point Park, 1-0 and 2-1, with both games lasting eight innings.
Malone’s No. 22 ranking in the NAIA is from the preseason coaches’ poll released Nov. 17. The Pioneers have a team batting average around .360 and a team ERA around 4.00 and will surely get strong consideration for the first NAIA Top 25 poll of the regular season, which will be posted Tuesday.
For the second straight day, the starting pitchers gave both teams a chance to win each game. But Malone starters Alex Haines and Jared Messer combined to give up just seven hits while each tossing six innings.
Haines got the win in game one, and he didn’t give up a hit the first four innings. In six innings, Haines struck out two, walked four and allowed three hits. He pitched into the seventh inning with a 5-0 lead, and his only mistake of the day came on a two-run homer by Dave Angle (Pittsburgh/Pine-Richland) with no outs.
Angle (pictured left) broke up Haines’ no-hit bid with a lead-off single in the fifth, and the junior designated hitter had two of Point Park’s three hits in the game.
After Angle’s two-run blast cut it to 5-2, the Pioneers got the tying run to the plate with one out, but Chris Burton picked up the save by retiring the next two batters.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Loutsenhizer (Norwin/North Huntingdon) pitched a complete game and took the loss for Point Park. Loutsenhizer struck out two, walked three and scattered seven hits in six innings.
Messer started game two for Malone, and he gave up no runs on four hits in six innings to get the victory. With the win, the freshman right-hander improved to 4-0 with a 1.28 ERA. He struck out three and walked none Saturday.
Trailing 6-0, Point Park scored a run off the Malone bullpen in the seventh. Robert Novia (North Port, Fla./North Port) and Frank Marko (Robinson Twp./Montour) started the rally with pinch-hit singles, and a third straight pinch hitter, Robert Munoz (Miami, Fla./South Miami) drew a walk to load the bases. Tom Birko (Coraopolis/Montour) then brought home a run with a groundout.
Point Park totaled six hits in the second game, and Malone had 10 off of Point Park starter Derek Peluso (Zelienople/Seneca Valley). Peluso took the loss in going the distance. He struck out four, walked one and hit three batters. Malone scored three run in the fourth to extend its lead to 4-0.
Point Park, which has lost six straight, will try to get back on the winning track by stepping out of conference Sunday. The Pioneers welcome non-conference opponent Briarcliffe (N.Y.) to Frank J. Marko Field for a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.
The Pioneers resume AMC play next weekend by visiting Shawnee State for doubleheaders Friday and Saturday.
Pictured above, Dave Angle bats during last weekend's AMC home series with Notre Dame (OH).
Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.