Crunch time – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

Well, here we are. It’s that time of year again.

You’re trying to figure out all of the papers you have to write in the next week that you should have started months ago, your professors are cramming three weeks worth of material into the final three classes and you’re surviving on energy drinks and junk food to pull all-nighters every night.

Sleep is overrated, anyways, right?

Not for the Point Park baseball and softball teams. Rest up folks, because this week into next is the most important of your seasons.

The baseball team enters the week with an 18-17 overall record and an 11-5 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) record. The Pioneers are in a tight race for second place in the conference that, at this point, belongs to anyone.

One or two losses could determine the fate of Point Park’s season. I’ve stressed this for weeks: the regular season is all about racking up wins to get decent playoff positioning and then figuring out what worked and what didn’t during the regular season to adjust during the postseason.

The only thing stopping the Pioneers from making a deep run in the KIAC tournament are themselves and Indiana University Southeast. The Grenadiers swept the Pioneers in a four-game series earlier this season and sit atop the conference with a 15-1 record in KIAC play.

This is a team that put up 20 runs in game one of a four-game sweep of Ohio Christian last weekend. They scored seven runs in the first inning alone. They’re a good baseball team.

The Pioneers are strong as well, despite battling injuries on and off throughout the course of the season.

They can only hurt themselves from here on out. Errors on routine plays and fundamental mistakes won’t help this team win games.

The next two weeks could make or break Point Park’s regular season conference record. Point Park plays a four-game series with 1-11 Brescia, games the Pioneers should win easily. Next weekend, the Pioneers play 1-15 Cincinnati Christian in a four game set.

Point Park’s next eight conference games are against teams with a combined 2-26 record. Losing any of the next eight games shouldn’t be acceptable.

After finals week concludes, the Pioneers host four games against Asbury, who are tied with West Virginia Tech for third in the KIAC.

It’s crunch time for this team and time to buckle up.

After losing a pair of games at Rio Grande last weekend, the upcoming week for the softball team is even more important.

The Pioneers enter the week with a 10-16 overall record and a 4-4 KIAC record. Point Park plays six KIAC games against three KIAC opponents this week.

The Pioneers travel to Ohio Christian on Wednesday, which is 3-7 in conference play this year. Friday, Point Park hosts Midway for two games against the 0-8 Eagles and end the weekend Saturday with two games against the 2-6 Asbury Eagles.

The softball team’s next six KIAC games are against the bottom three teams in the conference that have a combined 5-21 record in conference play.

The team has a real chance to gain some ground in the KIAC over the next week. The Pioneers have to take advantage of weak opponents in the next week. It’s as simple as that. Next weekend, Point Park hosts Indiana University Southeast and Brescia who have 11-1 and 5-7 records, respectively.

Students are drowning in final projects, papers and exams over the next couple weeks. If you think you have it rough as you try to finish the year on a high note, try adding the pressure of finishing a season that you’ve trained all year for on a high note.

That’s respectable.

Both teams have great chances over the next couple weeks to put themselves in a great position to make a deep run in the KIAC.

It’s crunch time in the classroom and on the diamond.

Let’s get to work.