Baseball sweeps Midway to maintain first place
Point Park wins three one-run road games to improve RSC record to 20-4 in final stretch
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Point Park University completed a four-game sweep of Midway University this past weekend. The first three games of the series were decided by one run and the Pioneers depended on senior pitcher Nolan Krivijanski to fend off Midway’s offense in the first contest.
Krivijanski pitched 6.1 innings and gave up six hits, half of which came in the first inning. Senior Keenan Smith came in for the last two batters of the game to seal the deal for the Pioneers. Midway had the tying run on second base in the seventh inning with one out when Smith made two batters pop up to end the inning.
The Pioneers ended up putting up only one run for the contest. Junior center fielder Stefan Mrkonja produced the only run of the game when he hit a sacrifice fly that scored one run in the fifth inning.
The second game of Friday’s series began as another pitcher’s duel, with the Pioneers sending sophomore pitcher Nicholas Beardsley to the mound. Beardsley struck out eight and allowed just two hits in the first four innings. The Pioneers were held to only one run through five innings.
Sophomore third baseman Erik Montero hit a two-out RBI single in the fourth inning that followed two singles and a sacrifice bunt earlier in the frame.
Midway came back in the bottom of the fifth, taking a 4-1 lead. Beardsley left the game after going 4.1 innings, giving up three hits.
Midway sent its closer, Jake McCoy, to the mound in the sixth inning, who had not given up an earned run all year. The Pioneers broke that streak as they accumulated two runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Junior right fielder Edberg Dominguez hit an RBI double for the first run and later scored after senior left fielder Danny Sanchez hit a fly ball that was dropped.
With Midway leading 4-3 entering the top of the seventh inning, junior catcher Chris Hernandez walked and senior first-baseman Emmanuel Lopez hit an RBI double that scored a runner. Dominguez then hit an infield single to score Lopez.
Junior pitcher Addison Domingo struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure a save in the 5-4 victory.
On Saturday Point Park again took both games from Midway, winning the opener 4-3 and the finale of the series 6-3. The sweep of Midway maintained the Pioneers first-place standing in the River States Conference (RSC).
Midway had a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning of the first game when Mrkonja led off the inning with a single. He later stole second base and scored after junior catcher Richard Perez hit a single.
Freshman outfielder Cole Horew came in to pinch run for Perez and made it to second base on a passed ball and advanced to third base when Lopez grounded out. Horew scored from third after another passed ball, tying the game at three.
In the top of the seventh inning, Sanchez reached first base on an error and then moved to second after Domingo hit a sacrifice bunt. Sanchez then scored on another error from the Midway defense. Domingo proceeded to put the Midway offense down in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Sophomore pitcher Amiel Abreu started the game and went 3.1 innings giving up two hits, three runs and struck out four. Only two of the runs Abreu gave up were earned.
In the series finale Point Park had a 5-0 lead after three innings, and the Pioneers’ pitching staff gave up just four hits. The Pioneers accumulated four of those runs in the third inning.
Midway cut the Point Park to 5-3 in the fourth inning. Lopez then hit an insurance solo homerun in the top of the seventh to give Point Park a 6-3 lead. Domingo then came in to retire the side and secured another save and victory for the Pioneers.
This weekend the Pioneers host Indiana University Southeast in a four-game series of top RSC contending teams.