Point Park takes 1 of 2 from #23 Madonna (MI): W, 4-2; L, 4-3
March 8, 2012
Rob Novia (19) had a key single in Thursday's win over Madonna. File photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Point Park University baseball team beat No. 23 Madonna, 4-2, in the first game of a non-conference doubleheader on Thursday but lost the nightcap, 4-3. Both games were apart of the Russ Matt Central Florida Invitational.
Point Park (12-3) is 6-2 on its 10-game Florida trip that concludes with a doubleheader versus Trinity Christian (IL) on Friday at 3 p.m.
Point Park is just outside the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll at No. 26 overall, but is now 2-2 versus ranked teams after Thursday's split with Madonna. The Pioneers were 1-1 versus No. 7 Cumberland (TN). They also own wins over "others receiving votes teams" Campbellsville (KY) and Martin Methodist (TN).
Point Park was holding on to a 1-0 lead in Game 1 versus Madonna before scoring three times in the top of the sixth for a 4-0 lead. Rob Novia provided the big hit of the inning, a two-run single. Earlier in the frame, Marlon Leyva and Ossie Alfonzo had base hits, and a run came home on Steve Dujka's sacrifice bunt.
Pioneers starter Nathan Spohn (2-0) got the victory in 5.1 innings. The sophomore lefty who is a transfer from West Chester and a native of Greensburg, Pa., did not give up a run the first five innings.
Spohn left the game with two runners on in the bottom of the sixth. Reliever Mike Tullio gave up a two-run single -- with the runs charged to Spohn -- but that was all Madonna would get in cutting it to 4-2. Tullio earned the save with no runs on four hits over 1.2 innings.
Spohn gave up two runs on five hits, struck out two and walked three. His other start was a win at Campbellsville (KY) (13-3) on Feb. 26.
Leyva was 2 for 4, and the Pioneers had seven hits total. Lee Bodnar gave Point Park a 1-0 lead in the third on his RBI double. Tom Pasinski had walked earlier in the inning.
In Game 2, Point Park fell behind, 4-0, after three and a half innings and had its comeback bid come up short.
Javier Marticorena, a sophomore from Miami, Fla., and a transfer from St. Thomas (FL) University, was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a homer. His RBI single got the Pioneers on the board and cut it to 4-1 after four.
Two innings later, Marticorena started the Point Park rally with a leadoff homer in the sixth. Four of the next six batters were walked to force in a run and cut the lead to 4-3. But the bases were left loaded after a strikeout.
Bodnar, who was 2 for 4, started the Point Park seventh with a base hit, but he was erased on a double play.
Isaiah Marsh got the Game 2 start for the Pioneers. He fell behind 4-0 after four innings and gave up nine hits over 6.1 innings in all. After going down 4-0, he settled in to retire seven in a row. Marsh, a transfer from Clearwater (FL) Christian College, gave up four runs, struck out six and walked two.
Mike Tullio came on in relief in both games. He pitched a total of 2.1 innings on the day and picked up the save -- his fourth of the year -- in Game 1. He did not give up a run, and all four hits that he gave up came in the first game.
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