Point Park defeats Asbury (Ky.), 15-7, in Game 1 of tourney finals, Game 2 at 6 p.m.
May 4, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Horacio Acosta got the victory in Game 1 of the finals in 6.1 IP of relief. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
KINSTON, N.C. -- Point Park University won its fourth-consecutive elimination game, 15-7, over winner's bracket champion Asbury (Ky.) University in Game 1 of the Unaffiliated Baseball Tournament championship round on Friday afternoon.
With the win, the Pioneers (48-8, 11-0 AMC) force a decisive Game 2 versus Asbury (17-37, 9-7 KIAC) to decide the title. Game 2 will begin at 6 p.m. Friday night. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA Opening Round, the first stage of the national tournament.
Check back here later Friday night for a recap of Game 2.
Game 1 on Friday had a wild start as Point Park jumped out to a 9-2 lead with seven runs in the top of the third. But Asbury answered with three runs in its half of the inning to cut the deficit to 9-5.
But that's when Point Park reliever Horacio Acosta entered the game. The junior right-hander from Miami, Fla., held a very hot-hitting Asbury team to just two runs over the final 6.1 innings as Point Park kept adding to the lead.
In the early going, it seemed like the teams would trade big innings all game long. But Acosta put a stop to that, and Asbury was never able to keep Point Park off the scoreboard.
Asbury ended up with 19 hits, and Point Park had 15. But Asbury could not find the strikeout zone as it had four pitchers combine for 10 walks. All 15 of Point Park's runs were earned.
Acosta gave up eight hits over his 6.1 innings, struck out one and walked three. He gave up only one earned run. Ryan Loutsenhizer pitched the first 2.2 innings for the Pioneers and gave up five runs on 11 hits.
Point Park's cleanup hitter Osse Alfonzo was 3 for 5 with two doubles and three RBIs. Dillon Sauers was 3 for 6 from the No. 9 spot in the order.
Alfonzo had plenty of base runners on in front of him. Leadoff made Tom Birko was walked four times and scored four runs. No. 2 hitter Rob Novia was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. No. 3 hitter Lee Bodnar was 2 for 4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs.
Tom Pasinski was the sixth Point Park player with a mutli-hit game. Birko was the only starter to not get a hit although he hardly had any pitches to swing at with a four bases on balls.
Asbury was not without its chances. The Eagles left 14 on base, which was two more than Point Park. But Asbury also left the bases loaded in the third, sixth and eighth innings.
It was in the third inning that Acosta was inserted into a bases-loaded jam. He got out of that situation with a groundout to third for the first of eight consecutive batters retired by the transfer from Wabash (IL) Valley College. Oddly enough, all eight went down on a groundout to the left side.
A groundout to second base allowed Acosta to leave the bases loaded in the sixth without one run scored in the inning. Two innings later, the Eagles loaded the bases again but got just one unearned run.
Download the full play by play and box score of Game 1 at the link above.