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Point Park sweeps MVNU in matchup of top two teams in AMC

April 14, 2011

Loutsenhizervs.SunyCanton
Ryan Loutsenhizer pitched a 4-hit shutout in game 2 and is 7-0. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.

Box Score 1

Box Score 2

MT. VERNON, Ohio -- The Point Park University baseball team outscored Mt. Vernon Nazarene, 17-4, in winning both ends of an American Mideast Conference doubleheader that pitted the top two teams in the AMC Thursday.

Point Park improved to 27-6 overall and is now in first place in the AMC with an 8-2 league record after beating the homestanding Cougars (20-13, 7-3 AMC) by scores of 9-4 and 8-0.

Point Park, which has won 16 of its last 18 games, was just outside the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 Poll this week. The Pioneers were rated by NAIA coaches as the 26th best team in the country and fell just five votes shy of making the poll.

With the pair of victories, Point Park has more than doubled its win total from last year. The Pioneers were 13-26 in 2010, the first season under now second-year coach Loren Torres.

Senior second baseman Bryce Pfeuffer, a native of Robinson Twp., Pa., led Point Park to the victory in game 1 as he was 3 for 4 with four RBIs. He had a two-run double in the first and a two-run homer to make it 9-4 in the top of the seventh.

In the second game, Point Park starting pitcher Ryan Loutsenhizer (7-0) remained unbeaten in seven starts after putting together a sparkling, four-hit shutout. The graduate of Norwin High School struck out two and walked one over seven innings for his sixth complete game and his second shutout on the year.

On the year, Loutsenhizer has a 1.71 ERA with 19 strikeouts and four walks in 42.0 innings. Opponents are hitting .234 against him.

In the first game, Point Park staked a 6-0 lead, weathered an mid-game uprising that saw MVNU cut ths score to 6-4 and pulled away late to win, 9-4.

Point Park's three runs in the first inning were all unearned as an infield error kept the inning going long enough for Pfeuffer's big hit. Point Park made it 6-0 with three runs in the fourth as Tom Pasinski delivered an RBI single, and Brian Grise drove in a pair of runs with a two-out base hit.

Mt. Vernon's game 1 starter Kyle Barr entered the game with a 5-0 record and a 1.74 ERA as one of the top pitchers in the AMC. But Point Park touched him for seven runs -- only three of which were earned -- and eight hits in six innings.

The Cougars made things interesting with four runs on three hits in the fourth to chase Point Park starter Derek Peluso. But reliever Mike Tullio came on to get out of the jam, and the junior from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. did not give up a run in earning the victory.

Tullio (4-0) went 3.1 innings with three hits allowed. His ERA is 0.76 in 23.2 innings on the year. Peluso's record remained at 5-1 after giving up four runs on six hits in 3.2 innings. Only one of those runs was earned.

Zach O'Neal was 3 for 4, and Grise and Pasinski contributed two hits apiece in the opener.

In the second game, Loutsenhizer put the clamps on a Mt. Vernon Nazarene offense that entered the day with a .320 team batting average, and he shut out the Cougars for the first time this year.

He retired the last two batters of the first inning to start a stretch of eight batters retired in a row. Later, Loutsenhizer closed out the game with 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh.

The Point Park offense got another 11 hits in the night cap with the first big blow being Dave Angle's three-run homer in the first. Grise's RBI single was one of four hits in the Point Park second, and Lee Bodnar's sacrifice fly two batters later made it 5-0 after two.

The Pioneers were up, 7-0, after three innings as Dillon Sauers brought home a run with a base hit, and Bodnar forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the third. Bodnar drove in two runs to give him a team-high 39 RBIs on the year.

Mt. Vernon Nazarene used four pitchers, and starter Jerrob Decker gave up 10 hits and seven earned runs in 2.2 innings. Grise, Pasinski and Sauers each had two hits in the second game.

The same two teams play again Friday with Point Park serving as the host. Friday's AMC doubleheader starts at 1 p.m. at Green Tree Park. It was originally scheduled for Saturday, but it was moved up 24 hours due to a rain forecast on the weekend.

Friday's game coverage includes Live Audio from the Point Park student radio station WPPJ-AM. The live broadcast can be heard at wppjradio.com. Live Stats will be available at http://livestats.pointpark.edu