Baseball, softball begin seasons in Florida games

Written By Robert Berger, Co-Sports Editor

Photo by Robert Berger | Point Park Athletics
Junior pitcher Ryan Huber pitches in a contest last year. Huber left spring training leading the team with three wins and 1.38 era.

After spending spring break in Florida, the baseball team opened conference play taking 2-3 games to West Virginia Tech University (WVU) last Friday and Saturday.

Point Park opened the series with a 9-3 win. Staring on the mound was senior Felix Castillo who lasted 6.2 innings only giving up four hits and three runs. Junior Ryan Huber finished the game while only allowing two hits.

Point Park took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, but WVU Tech put up three through the fifth and sixth. That was the end of scoring for the Golden Bears and Point Park managed to score eight runs in the final three innings to secure the win.

In the second game of the series, Point Park fell to WVU tech 5-4.

The Golden Bears took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but Point Park battled back to tie it up in the fourth. In the next inning, Point Park scored two more to take a 4-2. WVU Tech however responded with two of their own to tie it back up. In the bottom half of the sixth West Virginia managed to score one more run to seal the deal and take the victory.

The final game of the series required extra innings, and the Pioneers left the Mountain State victorious 7-4.

Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, Point Park left the inning with a 3-1 lead after a three-run homerun off the bat of sophomore Alejandro Pelaez. The team picked up another run in the next inning, but the Golden Bears battled to tie the contest up and force extra innings.

It only took one inning however, and Point Park scored three runs in the top of the eighth.

During the trip to Lake Wales, Florida, the team left with an even record of 4-4.

The Pioneers opened the spring season off with a 13-1 loss to Trinity Baptist College. But rebounded in the second game of the series with a 7-3 win.

Point Park took an early 2-0 lead in the first, but Trinity took over scoring in the fourth putting three runs on the board.

The Pioneers were able to finish off the game in the fifth inning scoring five.

Senior Nick Bucci started on the mound for Point Park, throwing for 4.2 innings. Huber was credited with the win after pitching for 1.1 innings in middle relief.

The next day the Pioneers were back in action for another doubleheader against RV Judson University. Point Park claimed the victory in the first matchup 9-6.

Judson took a 5-0 lead in the first inning and Point Park responded with one run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. The Pioneers took the lead in the third putting four runs on the scoreboard.

Castillo was credited with the win and Junior Ruben Ramirez ended the game earning a save. Senior Jake Forgrave finished the game batting 3-4 including a two-run double and a three-run homerun. He ended the game with six RBIs.

In the second game, the score remained 0-0 until Point Park scored three runs in the fifth inning with Judson answering back with two in the bottom half of the inning. The Pioneers tallied one more in the sixth, but Judson had a big inning scoring six to secure the win.

The following day Point Park squared off against RV Judson University in a rubber match and walked away with a 4-2 win.

Huber started on the mound and threw for 6.1 innings to earn the win. Through the 6.1 innings, Huber maintained a shutout into the seventh inning striking out nine batters but was replaced for Ramirez after allowing two runs across the plate. 

Warner University was the next opponent for the baseball team and Point Park dropped the contest 14-2.

Warner was in charge the entire game scoring runs in each inning. Point Park’s only scoring efforts came in the fourth inning on singles from junior Josh Smith and Pelaez.

Tuesday, Point Park wrapped up  in Florida facing Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

The Pioneers walked away victorious 6-1 in the first matchup after senior Christian Negron threw a complete game with zero earned runs. Through the contest, Point Park managed to score their six runs off only four hits and four walks.

The team ended their Florida games in another game against Mount Vernon Nazarene dropping it 14-2.

The Pioneers held the team to two runs through the first three innings, but Mount Vernon Nazarene came through with a big inning in the bottom of the fourth after having 11 runs cross the plate.

The Pioneer softball team also spent their spring break in Florida, only 45 minutes away from the baseball team in Clermont, Florida.

The team began their spring training dropping two games to fellow National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school, Southeastern University.

Photo by Robert Berger | Point Park Athletics
Maddie Horn attempts a slap bunt in a game last season. During the spring season, Horn hit for a .357 average with 10 hits after 28 at bats.

Point Park dropped their opening contest 7-3.  In the third inning, Point Park opened up scoring with Maddie Horn reaching safely on a single to the third baseman. Two batters later, Amber Cook lined a ball to center field that was dropped by their center fielder allowing Horn to score the first run.

Southeastern responded quickly in the bottom half of the inning putting up two run of their own. They added three more in the fifth, and two more run in the sixth inning.

Point Park made efforts of a comeback scoring one run in the sixth and seventh, but it wasn’t enough. Horn highlighted the game going 4-4 and was just a home run away from completing the cycle.

Point Park dropped the second game of the double header to Southeaster 13-1. The only scoring effort for the Pioneers came in the sixth inning when freshman Carissa Scekeres scored after senior Tiffany Edwards lined a ball down the right field line.

Southeastern entered the contest ranked 22nd in the NAIA.

The next day, Point Park was back in action against in another double-header against the NAIA school Ave Maria. Point Park dropped the first game 6-2, and the second 2-1.

With junior Katie Tarr on the mound for Point Park, Ave Maria struck first in the fourth with one run. Point Park answered back with a run of their own in the sixth and forced the game to extra innings. Ave Maria however was able to claim the win in the bottom of the eighth.

Monday, Point Park took on Webber International and dropped the first game 13-1. The team claimed their first win in the second contest against a 10-1 victory.

Tarr pitched the entirety of the game earning 12 strikeouts through the contest. Seven players scored runs for Point Park and the team tallied nine hits on the scoreboard.

After a day off, the softball team earned another win in a match-up against Mount Vernon Nazarene.

The Pioneers were trailing 2-1 heading into the sixth inning and they were able to pull off the comeback. Senior Shannon Davis lined a ball to center scoring freshman Hailey Leitner and senior Tiffany Edwards. The game ended with a 3-2 final score.

Point Park claimed their final win in their last game in Florida facing Calumet College of St. Joseph. The Pioneers took the victory 3-2 in nine innings.

The game remained tied heading into the seventh inning with senior pitcher Ashley Iagnemma on the mound and the game headed into extra innings at a 0-0 tie.

St. Joseph put two runs on the board in the eighth inning, but Point Park was able to make the comeback putting up two runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie it up.

In the ninth, the Pioneers managed a walk off single off the bat of Seckeres scoring Edwards who was on third base.

The softball team will begin regular season conference play next week at home against Gannon University in a doubleheader.