Baseball swept in 3 games by IU Southeast

Team suffers first conference series loss since the 2017 season opener

Written By Robert Berger, Co-Sports Editor

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Photo by Robert Berger
Senior pitcher Felix Castillo during a 2018 game. Castillo pitched the opening game of the series last weekend throwing for four innings and allowing just one earned run. The team however dropped the game 11-0 in seven.

Last weekend the baseball team was swept in a three-game series by Indiana University (IU) Southeast during Point Park’s home opening games.

“We have to take a step back and get back to what we were doing before, which was swinging the bats well and pitching the ball well,” Head Coach Loren Torres said. “We can’t let the offense and pitching collapse like it did this weekend.”

This past series marks the first time the team lost a conference series since the 2017 season. It was also the first time since 2016 the Pioneers were swept during a conference series.

Point Park dropped the first game Friday afternoon to a score of 11-0. The game was scheduled for nine innings, but was cut short in the seventh due to the River States Conference (RSC) mercy rule being taken into effect.

During the home opening contest, Point Park started senior pitcher Felix Castillo. Castillo threw for four innings, allowing five runs with only two counting as earned. Through his four innings pitched, he racked up four strikeouts.

Junior pitcher Marco Quintanar was brought in as relief in the fifth inning and lasted for two. While doing so, he gave up two hits and just one run.

The biggest factor against Point Park were key fielding mistakes throughout. The defense ended the game with five fielding errors on the scoreboard.

“A lot of ground balls and a lot of repetitions are what we are going to do this week,” Torres said. “We have to get back to the basics and get down to playing solid fundamental baseball.”

The final pitcher to enter for Point Park was senior Anthony Savarino who pitched the final inning. After giving up five earned runs on four hits, and the Point Park bats failed to score in the bottom half of the inning, the game was ended.

The second game of the series also ended with the ten run rule taking effect against Point Park, this time with a final score of 13-2.

Point Park’s scoring efforts came in the fourth inning while trailing 10-0. The inning began with senior Jake Forgrave lining a lead off single to the outfield. Sophomore Ed Pfluger followed it up with a home run to left field. Three of the Pioneers’ hits came that inning, with the final effort being a single by sophomore Alejandro Pelaez.

The IU Southeast offense dominated throughout the game notching 15 hits during the contest.

While fighting to salvage a win out of the series, The Pioneers fought the entirety of game three but fell to a final score of 2-1.

Photo by Robert Berger
Senior infielder Erik Montero runs out a home run in a game last season. On the season Montero is batting for a .333 average with one home run after 22 games played. The team was swept last weekend by IU Southeast.

Point Park was the first to score and did so in the first inning. Junior Cole Horew led the game off with a double down the left field line. He eventually scored after senior Erik Montero lined a single to center field.

The Point Park pitching held up the entire contest and allowed no earned runs. Senior Nick Bucci took his start into the fourth inning while only giving up five hits. Bucci gave up two runs before being taken out, but both were unearned as a result of two separate fielding errors in the infield.

Junior Ryan Huber pitched in relief, starting in the fifth inning and pitched the remainder of the seven inning game. Through three innings pitched, Huber allowed two hits and no runs.

“I’m focusing on more than one pitch and being able to throw multiple pitches whenever I want them and wherever I want them,” Huber said. “That’s what I focused on pretty much this whole offseason.”

Huber struck three batters out, which made him the team leader with 31 on the season. Huber also led the Pioneers in innings pitched and holds the best ERA at 1.03.

“I’ve also been working on my fastball a lot and I’m happy that I’ve been able to add a lot of velocity to it this year,” Huber said.

This past week, the Pioneers also found out their ace starting pitcher senior Nick Beardsley will sit the remainder of the season out as a result of a torn Tommy John ligament.

The series loss this past weekend dropped the Pioneers RSC record to 6-6. After holding onto a three-way tie for third place last week, the team now sits in a three-way tie for fourth.

“We have to regroup for next week because we have the first place team coming up and it’s not going to get any easier,” Torres said.

The team will continue conference play against first place IU Kokomo at home this coming weekend in a three game series Friday and Saturday afternoon.

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