Clark's two-hit shutout highlights Point Park split on Day 1 of Florida trip
March 6, 2011
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Sean Clark, a transfer from Duquesne University, tossed a two-hit shutout to lead the Point Park University baseball team to a 9-0 victory over St. Xavier (IL) Sunday morning. The Pioneers (3-1) lost to Purdue-North Central (IN), 6-3, later in the day as they earned a split on the first day of the RussMatt Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla.
Clark, a right-hander from Titusville, Pa., retired the first 10 batters he faced to carry a perfect game into the fourth inning. He allowed only four base runners with only one getting past first base. Clark ended up with five strikeouts, two walks and gave up two hits in seven innings.
The shutout by Clark was the third one in the first three games of the season for Point Park. The Pioneers opened their season Wednesday getting two shut-out wins at WV Tech by scores of 3-0 and 12-0. The seven scoreless innings by Clark gave the Point Park pitching staff 19 straight scoreless innings to start the year.
Newcomer Steve Dujka, a junior right-fielder from St. Charles, Ill., provided the big blow for the Pioneers in the victory over St. Xavier. The transfer from Elgin (IL) CC belted a grand slam with no outs in the sixth to give Point Park a 9-0 lead.
The Pioneers had taken a 5-0 lead in the third when sophomore first basemen Lee Bodnar smashed a two-run homer. It was the second long ball of the year for the first-team All-AMC choice from a year ago. Bodnar had two of Point Park’s seven hits, and the Pioneers took advantage of seven errors by St. Xavier (4-10-1).
The top of Point Park’s order got plenty going as lead-off man Brian Grise and No. 2 hitter Kyle Lucot each scored two runs. Lucot also picked up two RBIs. Those two were disruptive on the base paths as they combined to force three errant pickoff throws.
In the second game of the day, Purdue-North Central (6-3) was able to score four runs over the last two innings to win, 6-3. Trailing, 2-0, Point Park took a 3-2 lead after Grise and Bodnar each delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
But Purdue-North Central scored three runs in the sixth in the final inning of work for Point Park starter James Monroe. The Panthers added an insurance run off reliever Alcibiades Gonzalez in the top of the seventh.
Monroe, a freshman righty from Miami, Fla., pitched six innings and only three of the five runs he gave up were earned. A pair of errors in the third led to two unearned runs a 2-0 lead for Purdue-North Central. Monroe did not give up an earned run the first five innings, but the Panthers touched him for three runs in the sixth, his last inning of work. The All-Dade County performer from American High School struck out four, walked two and gave up five hits.
Dave Angle, a senior catcher from Pittsburgh, Pa., led Point Park by going 2 for 2 with two doubles and two walks in the nightcap. The Pioneers were unable to get the big hit as they left nine men on base. Seven of those runners were left in scoring position.
Point Park has eight more games in the RussMatt Invitational beginning with a doubleheader versus Roosevelt (IL) scheduled for Monday morning at 9 a.m.
Check back later for a box score vs. Purdue-North Central