Point Park stays alive in Unaffilited Tournament with 18-4 win over Fisher
May 2, 2012 at 5:20 p.m.
Point Park takes its pre-game infield practice prior to Wednesday's game at Grainger Stadium. Photo by Jon Birchok.
KINSTON, N.C. -- Point Park University stayed alive in the Unaffiliated Baseball Tournament with Wednesday morning's 18-4 win over Fisher (Mass.) College in the first round of the loser's bracket at Grainger Stadium.
Top seed Point Park (45-8) advances to Day 3 of the six-team, double-elimination tournament. The Pioneers will play at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 3 versus No. 2 seed Talladega (Ala.). No. 3 seed Indiana Southeast sent Talladega (29-20) into the loser's bracket with a 21-3 drubbing Wednesday night.
If Point Park beats Talladega on Thursday, it will have to play again later that day at 6 p.m. to move on to Friday's championship round. The tournament is being played in Kinston, N.C., with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament.
Point Park was knocked into the loser's bracket when it opened the tournament on Tuesday with a 5-4 loss to No. 6 seed Asbury (Ky.) in 11 innings.
Point Park remained at No. 10 in this week's NAIA Baseball Coaches Top 25 Poll that was released by the national office on Tuesday (May 1). The Pioneers are ranked for the sixth-consecutive time and have been in the top 10 of every poll of the regular season. This week's rankings were based on results through April 29.
Point Park made quick work of Fisher (22-30) with seven runs in the second inning and 10 more in the fourth for an 18-4 lead. Fisher did, however, score three runs on three hits and an error in the top of the first.
But Point Park had plenty of offense, led by Lee Bodnar and Tom Pasinski, who were both 3 for 5 with four RBIs. Pasinski had a three-run homer during the 10-run inning. Don McDuffee was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Dillon Sauers and Ossie Alfonzo each drove in two runs.
Point Park got a strong pitching performance from Sean Clark (6-0), who went seven innings to get the win. Clark shook off a tough beginning but ended up giving up only six hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
All four runs Clark gave up came in the first two innings, and he also gave up four of his six hits in that stretch. But the junior right-hander from Titusville, Pa., settled in to blank the Falcons for five innings the rest of his outing.
Jon Corcoran came in to finish off the game with two scoreless innings. He retired all six batters he faced and struck out one.
Fisher was not as lucky on the mound as it needed seven pitchers to get through nine innings. What's more, the Falcons used six of those seven hurlers to get beyond the fourth inning. But by that point, the Pioneers already led, 18-4.
Fisher starter Christopher Cantu lasted only 1.1 innings, and he was knocked out of the box amid Point Park's seven-run second inning. Already trailing, 4-0, Point Park came alive for four hits that inning, and each one dealt a big blow.
Pasinki got the Pioneers on the board with an RBI single. McDuffee followed with a two-run base hit. Before the frame was over, Bodnar knocked in two with a single, and Alfonzo drove in two with a double.
Sauers ripped an RBI single in the third for the first of his two RBIs before the flood gates opened in the fourth. Point Park totaled 10 runs on four hits, two errors, four walks and a hit batter that inning.
Of the first six batters of the inning four were walked and another was hit by a pitch. That produced a run, as did Tom Birko's sacrifice fly. Rob Novia then added an RBI single, and Bodnar added a two-run double. The big hit came three batters later -- albeit after two infield errors -- when Pasinski launched his homer to left field.
Point Park finished with 12 hits and 16 RBIs. The Pioneers beat Fisher in all four meeting this year with a run differential of 44-7.
For continued tournament coverage throughout the week and for an updated bracket, visit the Point Park athletics website.
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