Point Park University's NAIA World Series recognition at PNC Park -- June 24, 2012
Posted on June 24, 2012 at 8:15 p.m. ET
Pictured Top: The Point Park Baseball Team poses for its recognition at PNC Park. Pictured Bottom: The Pioneers get introduced by in-game media host Joe Klimchak at 1:05 p.m. prior to the 1:35 p.m. start time of Pirates-Tigers.
PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University baseball team was recognized at PNC Park -- home of the Pittsburgh Pirates -- for its NAIA World Series fifth-place finish on Sunday, June 24, 2012. The Pioneers, who were 53-11 on the year, went 2-2 at the 10-team World Series bracket May 25-June 1 in Lewiston, Idaho.
Point Park's historic season included a school-record 53 wins and the program's 11th appearance in the NAIA World Series. The Pioneers have one of the richest traditions of success in all of NAIA baseball, and they rank tied for fourth all-time in World Series berths.
The Pioneers received some well-deserved recognition on Sunday at PNC Park when they were honored at 1:05 p.m., just before the 1:35 p.m. start time of the Pirates-Tigers game. The Pioneers were introduced by in-game media host Joe Klimchak, and Pirates president Frank Coonelly was also on hand to welcome the team.
The recognition also included the Pioneers being shown on the Jumbotron, and head coach Loren Torres throwing out a first pitch to the Pirate Parrot. Finally, former Point Park player and NAIA All-American Don Kelly, a current member of the Detroit Tigers, joined in on the on-field ceremony.
Kelly did not play Sunday and was kept out for the entire series with a knee bruise that has him day to day. He was a 2001 eighth-round draft pick of the Tigers and is in his third full season with the big league club.
Ten Point Park players and all four coaches were on hand for the ceremony. The Pioneers' 25-man roster includes several out-of-state players who were unable to be there including eight from Florida, three from Illinois and one from Canada.
Point Park's campus is in Downtown Pittsburgh, which can be seen beyond the right-field stands of PNC Park. Point Park is located just a 10-minute walk from the ball park across the Clemente Bridge.
Point Park fans were out in full force as nearly 250 alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends were at the game. Point Park sold discounted tickets for the game in the Infield Box, and there was a pre-game tailgate brunch held at the Village Park (corner of Blvd. of the Allies and Wood Street) on campus.
The Tigers won the game, 3-2, although the Pirates took two of three in the weekend series. Justin Verlander got the complete-game win for the Tigers and gave up only two runs on five hits. Quintin Berry had a two-run homer in the first inning off Pirates starter Kevin Correia, and Garrett Jones tied things up, 2-2, on a two-run blast in the seventh.
To find out more about the recognition at PNC Park, view the video clip of head coach Loren Torres throwing out the first pitch and the photo gallery on the Point Park Athletics Facebook page.