Baseball team takes 2 of 3 games against first place IU Kokomo

Written By Robert Berger, Co-Sports Editor

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While continuing conference play at home this weekend, the baseball team took two games out of three while facing the first place Indiana University (IU) of Kokomo.

While playing a doubleheader Thursday afternoon, Point Park picked up both wins, claiming a 3-2 victory in game one and a 12-0 win in the second. The team dropped the third game 10-1 Friday while playing at Kelly Automotive Park due to their home field at Green Tree Park unfit due to heavy rains that came over night.

Game one came down to the wire, with sophomore Luis Mujica pulling threw with late game heroics in the bottom of the ninth.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Mujica blooped a single to shallow right-field. Junior Julio Creazzola scored easily from third. Junior Antonio Carrillo followed on the basepath, and slid under the tag on a play at the plate to give Point Park the winning run in walk off fashion.

Point Park’s first scoring effort in the contest came in the bottom of the fifth inning while scoring a run without securing a hit in the inning. On the inning IU Kokomo hit three batters and walked anther, allowing a run to cross the plate.

Otherwise, IU Kokomo’s pitching held up, allowing just eight Pioneer hits throughout.

On the hill for Point Park was senior Felix Castillo. He threw for six innings, only giving up two hits and two runs. One off a double in the first inning, and the second on a homerun that came in the seventh. Otherwise, Castillo made quick work of the IU Kokomo offense, sitting down 16 of 18 batters he faced after giving up the first run.

Junior Ryan Huber pitched in relief of Castillo, closing out the remaining three innings. Huber ended the game with three strikeouts and just one hit allowed.

While the game winning run in game two came in the third inning for Point Park, the 11 run fifth inning was the highlight of the day for the Pioneers.

Point Park got on the board early in the third inning. Senior Yuri Sucart singled to right-center field, which brought senior Jake Forgrave across the plate to take a 1-0 lead.

The lead remained one until the fifth inning, when the Pioneers totaled 11 more runs. Point Park did so on seven hits and five base-on-balls. 16 batters made it to the plate during this inning.

Highlights of the inning include a two-run double by junior Cole Horew, followed by a two-run single by Carillo. Sophomore Alejandro Pelaez would later clear the bases on a three-run triple.

For Point Park, Junior pitcher Marco Quintanar went the distance, throwing all seven innings, while allowing just four hits and one walk.

Point Park held up defensively during both games of the double-header committing just one error in each contest. This was an improvement from last week after the team committed seven fielding mistakes in a doubleheader against River States Conference opponent Indiana University (IU) Southeast.

Early Friday morning, the Pioneer squad was back at their home field for game three, but had the task of preparing the field after the overnight rain. After hours of field work, the efforts went to no avail and the game was moved last minute to a turf backup field of Kelly Automotive Park in Butler County.

While the team was first to strike while picking up a run in the third inning, fielding mistakes that were prevalent during last week’s series returned and the team made four costly errors.

Senior pitcher Nick Bucci got the start and lasted 4.2 innings. Bucci allowed just three hits and racked up five strikeouts, but gave up five runs. However, only two of these runs were earned due to a wild throw in the infield with two outs that forced the inning to continue on.

Junior Ruben Ramirez was the first to come in as relief for the Pioneers and lasted 2.2 innings, and allowing no runs. Huber pitched the remaining 1.2 innings, but would first give up five runs before the game was over.

After this outing, Huber dropped to second place overall in the River States Conference  earned run average totals. Through 31 innings pitched, his ERA stand at 2.32.

While the lead was still within reach, the Pioneer offense were unable to make the most of offensive opportunities, including having the bases loaded with no outs in the third inning. The offense left 13 men on base on the day.

After the weekend, Point Park holds a 15-13 overall record and are 8-7 in conference play. The team now sits in a tie for fourth place with Midway University in the River States Conference standings.

The team will be back in action at home this coming weekend as the take on Brescia University in a three game series at their home field at Green Tree Park.

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