Point Park well-represented on All-AMC teams with Pitcher & Coach of the Year
May 11, 2012
Dereke Peluso (22) won AMC Pitcher of the Year and Loren Torres (26) AMC Coach of the Year
PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University baseball team was well-represented on the All-American Mideast Conference Baseball Teams that were released on Thursday, and the Pioneers are led by AMC Pitcher of the Year Derek Peluso and AMC Coach of the Year Loren Torres.
Of the eight Point Park players who were nominated, seven made the All-AMC First Team and one was on the All-AMC Second Team. The Pioneers are ranked No. 12 in the NAIAl and are competing this week in the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round in Marion, Ind.
2012 All-AMC Baseball Selections from Point Park
All-AMC First Team
Derek Peluso, SP, Sr., Zelienople, Pa. (AMC Pitcher of the Year)
Sean Clark, SP, Jr., Titusville, Pa.
Mike Tullio, RP, Sr., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Tom Birko, 2B, So., Kennedy Twp., Pa.
Rob Novia, OF, Jr., North Port, Fla.
Javy Marticorena, OF, So., Miami, Fla.
Marlon Leyva, DH, Jr., Miami, Fla.
All-AMC Second Team
Nathan Spohn, SP, Fr., Greensburg, Pa.
AMC Coach of the Year
Loren Torres, third year
Peluso, a native of Zelienople, Pa., and a product of Seneca Valley High School, was named the AMC's best pitcher after putting up a record of 9-1 with a 2.23 ERA after his win in the NAIA national tournament on May 11. The 6-2, 205-pound right-hander has 73 strikeouts and 22 walks in 72.2 innings pitched after the NAIA tourney start. Opponents are hitting .241 off him.
In AMC play, Peluso was even better with a 0.44 ERA and a 3-0 record in three starts. In those 20.1 innings pitched, he racked up 18 strikeouts against just five walks and opponents hit only .174 off of him. Peluso was also one of four pitchers on the All-AMC First Team.
Coach Torres was named the AMC Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. He led the Pioneers to a record of 48-9 entering the national tournament and is 100-48 since taking over the Point Park team before the 2010 season. He is the second-fastest coach to reach 100 wins at Point Park behind only Mark Jackson.
Four of the eight awardees from Point Park were pitchers. Joining Peluso as All-AMC starting pitchers was Sean Clark on the first team and Nathan Spohn on the second team. Closer Mike Tullio was the only relief pitcher on the first team.
Clark is a junior from Titusville, Pa., who transferred from Duquesne last year. The 6-3, 205-pound righty improved to 7-0 with a 2.55 ERA after winning a national tournament game over Taylor, 3-2, on May 10. He has 45 strikeouts and 10 walks in 60.1 innings pitched after that vicory. Hitters are having .236 success against him.
Tullio is among the NAIA leaders with 14 saves, and he picked up 14th in the national tourney win over Taylor. He has worked in 27 outings with a 5-4 record and a 1.69 ERA. He has shattered the career and single-season saves records at Point Park, and he extends the record every time he picks one up.
Spohn has an 8-0 record with a 2.18 ERA entering the NAIA tourney. The 5-7, 175-pound lefty has collected 30 strikeouts and 16 walks in 57.2 innings. Opposing batters hit .250 off him.
The Pioneers had four position players make the All-AMC First Team. Sophomore second baseman Tom Birko, junior left fielder Rob Novia, sophomore right fielder Javier Marticorena and designated hitter Marlon Leyva made the list.
Birko is hitting .328 with 41 RBIs and a team high 11 stolen bases in 13 attempts as the leadoff hitter. He is a native of Kennedy Twp., Pa. Novia bats in the No. 2 position for the Pioneers and has a .337 average with nine doubles, one home run and 39 RBIs. The North Port, Fla., native has a team-leading 12 sacrifice bunts.
Marticorena was on a torrid pace before missing the last month of the season with a torn knee. Before going down April 7, the Miami, Fla., native put up a .384 average, 11 doubles, seven homers and 34 RBIs in just 36 games.
Leyva, a native of Miami, Fla., hit .324 with 10 doubles, one home run and 27 RBIs as the designated hitter. Leyva primarily bats fifth for the the Pioneers and also catches. He is the third Point Park player in four years to be All-AMC first team DH.