Point Park wins 1 of 2 games to open AMC Tournament, faces MVNU in finals
May 4, 2011
Box Score vs. Malone
Box Score vs. MVNU
MT. VERNON, Ohio -- In its first action at the American Mideast Conference Baseball Tournament Wednesday, top-seeded Point Park University won its opener, 5-3, to eliminate Malone University, and then lost to Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, 9-3, in the first game of the best-of-3 championship series.
Point Park (37-12, 14-6 AMC), the #23 team in the NAIA, rallied from a 3-1 deficit with four runs in the top of the eighth inning to beat Malone (33-22). The Pioneers got four runs on seven hits that inning after being limited to one run the first seven innings off Malone starter Jared Messer. But Point Park earned the comeback victory to send Malone home with an 0-2 record in the three-team, double-elimination tournament.
Point Park sat out Tuesday when #2 seed Mt. Vernon Nazarene beat #3 Malone, 5-2, in the tournament's opening game. So, when Malone was eliminated, that left Point Park and MVNU as the only remaining teams.
At that point, the tournament became a best-of-3 series for the championship. Mt. Vernon Nazarene scored three runs in the top of the first, added four more in the fourth after Point Park had cut it to 3-2, and took advantage of five errors to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
The championship series will continue Friday with a site and time TBA. Point Park had earned the right to host as the #1 seed, but the event was switched to Mt. Vernon, Ohio, the first two days since the weather forecast called for rain in Pittsburgh. Now the series shifts back to Point Park.
Point Park needs to win two games, the second of which would be at 4 p.m., if necessary. Mt. Vernon needs only one win to take the title. The AMC champion moves on to the NAIA Opening Round, a regional playoff prior to the NAIA World Series.
Derek Peluso got the start versus Malone for Point Park, and he pitched six strong innings. The junior righty gave up three runs on eight hits and was down, 3-1 when he left the game. Mike Tullio (6-0) got the win in relief as he pitched the final three innings without giving up a run.
Point Park was held in check by Messer the first seven innings before breaking out in the eighth. The inning got started with a double by Brian Grise followed by an RBI single from Kyle Lucot. Lee Bodnar's base hit was followed by Dave Angle's RBI single to tie it at 3-3. The Pioneers got two more runs before the inning was throughout, one of which came home on Tom Pasinski's bunt single with the bases loaded.
Bodnar, Angle and Bryce Pfeuffer each had two hits as part of Point Park's 11-hit out put.
In the second game of the day versus Mt. Vernon Nazarene, Point Park was done in by five errors, that, although only led to only three of the nine runs being unearned, they kept things alive long enough for MVNU to come up with some key hits.
Ryan Loutsenhizer (7-3) started for Point Park and pitched well enough to win in 7.1 innings. He gave up eight runs (five earned) on 11 hits, struck out two and walked two.
After MVNU put up three quick runs in the first, Point Park made it 3-2 on Bodnar's two-run single in the third. Point Park had a chance to take the lead that inning but left two runners on.
MVNU scored four runs the next half inning to stretch the lead out to 7-2, and Point Park only real scoring chance after that came when they loaded the bases with one out in the sixth. The Pioneers did get a run on Pfeuffer's sacrifice fly, but they left the bases loaded with the score still 7-3.
The Cougars added a couple of insurance runs later for winning pitcher Caleb Wright, who pitched a complete game. Wright, a righty who throws a lot of breaking balls, scattered eight hits over 9 innings, gave up three runs, struck out four and walked three. He had tossed a complete-game, one-hitter in the regular season versus Point Park.
Point Park had eight hits versus the Cougars with Dillon Sauers going 3 for 4 and Bodnar going 2 for 4.