Point Park takes 1 of 2 from Olivet Nazarene, Clark tosses 1-hitter in opener
March 6, 2012
Sean Clark tossed a 1-hit shutout in Tuesday's 1-0 win over Olivet Nazarene. File photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Point Park University split two baseball games with a strong Olivet Nazarene (IL) team on Tuesday at the Russ Matt Central Florida Invitational. The Pioneers won the opener, 1-0, as Sean Clark tossed a one-hit shutout. But Olivet Nazarene won the night cap, 3-2, in eight innings with a game-ending base hit.
Point Park (11-2) still only has two losses on the year despite having Olivet Nazarene (8-2-1) end its eight-game winning streak. Point Park's other loss is at NAIA No. 7 Cumberland (TN) Feb. 25. Point Park is just outside of the NAIA Baseball Preseason Top 25 Poll at No. 26.
Clark, a junior right-hander from Titusville, Pa., pitched a gem in game one. He went all seven innings, struck out seven, walked one and gave up no runs on one hit. It was his second strong outing in two starts.
Clark (1-0) went five solid innings at No. 7 Cumberland (TN) on Feb. 25, but got the no-decision despite giving up two runs on four hits in five innings. On the year, the transfer from Duquesne has given up three runs on five hits in 12 innings.
Olivet Nazarene had the tying run aboard in the top of the seventh, but Clark got a fielder's choice and two pop outs to closed it out.
In what was a pitcher's duel, Point Park was held to four hits by Olivet Nazarene pitchers Ryan Archer and Aaron King.
Point Park got the winning run in the fifth on an RBI single by senior third baseman Lee Bodnar. The inning started with Tom Birko being hit by a pitch and Tom Pasinski singling. Pasinski was 2 for 3.
In game two, Point Park scored a run in the top of the seventh to tie things up at 2-2 and force extra innings, but Olivet Nazarene got the win in the last half of the eighth.
Trailing, 2-1, Ossie Alfonzo started a Point Park rally in the seventh with a base hit. Javier Marticorena followed with a sacrifice bunt, and two batters later Steve Dujka delivered the game-tying single.
Point Park had taken a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Marticorena's two-out, run-scoring single. Pasinski had walked earlier in the inning.
Ryan Loutsenhizer was the Point Park starter in game two, and he did not give up a run the first five innings. The junior righty from North Huntingdon, Pa., went 7.1 innings in all with three runs, two earned runs and two hits against. He walked one and struck out one.
Olivet Nazarene got to Loutsenhizer for two runs in the sixth inning after getting only one hit before that. He exited the game after giving up a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth. Reliever Mike Tullio, who has been masterful in relief all year long, finally had a chink in the armor as he gave up a walk, a hit batter and the game-winning single.
Point Park continues its play at the Russ Matt Central Florida Invitational through Friday. After an off day Wednesday, the Pioneers play NAIA No. 23 Madonna (MI) Thursday at 10 a.m. and Trinity Christian (IL) Friday at 3 p.m.
Check back later for a box score and updated season statistics
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