Home field disadvantage – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

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They have a comfortable lead in the conference.

They have a starting pitching staff that is shutting down a lot of offenses.

They have a starting lineup that produces all the way from top to bottom.

But what the Point Park baseball team does not have is a home field ready for baseball.

Point Park Field at Green Tree Park was more like a swamp than a baseball field entering last week and therefore, the Pioneers had to find somewhere else to host games. The field did not have a chance to drain properly after a long winter and rainy start to April and still has yet to dry out.

Point Park played a “home” game against Penn State Greater Allegheny in March at Consol Energy Park in Washington, Pa.

This past weekend, the Pioneers were scheduled to host Brescia in a four game conference series. Instead of playing at their home field down the parkway, they traveled north to Kelly Automotive Park in Butler for the series.

Point Park has yet to host a true home game, or even a home practice for that matter. Still, they have managed a 29-6 overall record, 14-2 in conference play. Because their home field is still not ready, the team has had to practice indoors. Head coach Loren Torres said some of the teams’ problems stem from not practicing outdoors.

“Not having [the field] ready, it’s a challenge,” Torres said. “I think that some of the mistakes that we’ve made are directly in line with not being able to be outside and practice.”

Torres is mostly concerned with cutting down on the number of defensive errors and eliminating little mistakes.

“I think once we get outside, we’ll put more pressure on the defense and clean up the infield,” Torres said. “It’ll be a difference for us down the line.”

Still, the Pioneers are on their way to winning another Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) title. It’s an enthusiastic team with good chemistry that possesses a win-at-all-cost mindset. Torres said the team is buying into what the coaching staff is selling them, and he’s happy with the bond this team shares.

“They pull for one another,” Torres said. “They’re a closeknit group, and I think that’s going to take us a long way.”

Point Park is scheduled to “host” IU Southeast this weekend in the final KIAC series before the conference tournament.