Baseball extends winning streak to 15, face first place Indiana Southeast this weekend

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park’s men’s baseball team continued their winning ways last week, sweeping both Fisher College and River State Conference (RSC) rival Ohio Christian University in the two and three-game series to extend their winning streak to 15 games. The Pioneers would win both games of the doubleheader against Fisher College on Tuesday, March 30, by the scores of 8-1 and 21-5. The team would then turn around and defeat OCU on Friday, April 2, by the score of 9-0, and on Saturday, April 3, winning the doubleheader 11-1 and 3-1. The Pioneers outscored their opponents 52-8 in the five games played and boosted their record to 23-7, with an RSC record of 12-3. They currently stand in second place in the RSC standings. 

In the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Fisher College looked to put the Pioneers on their heels early, scoring in the top of the first to put them ahead 1-0 to start the game. It was the only run they would score throughout the matchup though, as the Pioneers would shut down the Falcons’ offense thanks to a stout defense and excellent pitching. Senior Antonio Carrillo would give the Pioneers the lead in the bottom of the second with a two-run blast to put the score at 2-1. The Pioneer would then put up three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, thanks in part to a two-run double off the bat of junior Ed Pfluger in the fourth and a seeing-eye single from senior Jouseph Renovales in the 5th. Junior Jonathan Pacheco went 6 innings and struck out six to get the win, giving up his lone run in the 1st before settling down. Freshman Tyler Pullin would come in to pitch a scoreless seventh and end the game at 8-1.

Game two would be an absolute mashing for the Pioneers, with the team scoring 14 runs in the first two innings alone, and patted the lead with a combined nine runs between the fourth and fifth innings as well. 13 different Pioneers recorded an RBI, and 10 would record a hit. The blowout was led by the bat of Pfluger, who would go three for three at the plate with three RBIs and two walks in his five plate appearances. Sophomore Luis Hernandez and Junior Emille Morillo also helped lead the charge in RBIs, with Hernandez bringing around three RBIs to go with a hit and a walk, and Morillo bringing around two more with a hit and two walks. Sophomore Easton Klein would start the second half of the doubleheader, getting the win with 5 innings and four strikeouts while only giving up a single run. Pullin would come in for the final two innings of the seven-inning matchup, giving up four runs (two earned) and striking out one. 

“Our pitchers do a great job of working fast while throwing a bunch of strikes, making every hitter on the other team earn their way on,” sophomore Ty Andrews said. “On the hitting side, every guy on our team has bought into grinding our bats out, not being an easy out, putting pressure on the defense. When we do this with all the good hitters we have, these are the results we get.”

The Pioneers would have to wait until Friday before their next game but would come out firing on all cylinders when they did. Renovales and Pfluger would continue to power the offense in this game, with the first run of the game coming off a ground out from Pfluger that would score Renovales in the bottom of the third. The Pioneers would score two more in the fourth, thanks in part to a fielding error, and would put up three more in the sixth and eighth to put the game away at 9-0. Pfluger would end the night with three RBIs and a stinging homer in the eighth, while Renovales would bring around four RBIs thanks to a double and triple. Senior Nicholas Beardsley would get the win, thanks to his 8 innings of work while striking out 8 in the shutout. Klein would pitch a clean ninth to end the game. 

Game one of the doubleheader on Saturday would be more of the same for the Pioneers: putting up runs and shutting down the opposition. Although the Trailblazers would score first in the contest, the Pioneers would score in five consecutive innings from the bottom of the second to the sixth to put them ahead and keep them ahead. Home runs off the bats of Pfluger and Morillo would help in the offensive attack that would end with 13 hits for Point Park, as well as Junior Dylan Winseck’s two RBIs. 

“I just made sure I stayed relaxed and had fun at the plate,” Pfluger said. “I was seeing the ball well so I didn’t want to change my approach.” 

Senior Cole Horew would pitch the complete eight innings while striking out eight and only giving up a run. Game two would be a much closer affair, with OCU scoring in the top of the first and holding onto that lead for the majority of the contest. The Pioneers couldn’t seem to squeak across a run until the bottom of the fifth inning. Sophomore Ty Andrews would be the hero of the nightcap, coming up with a blistering double that would score three and put the Pioneers ahead for the rest of the matchup. Senior Christian Negron would start the game for the Pioneers, giving up the only run in the first before settling down and cruising through 5 innings while striking out four in the game to get himself the win. Senior Ruben Ramirez would come in after the big hit from Andrews, finishing the last two innings of the seven innings contest with five strikeouts and no hits allowed to finish the game at 3-1 and record the save. The save places Ramirez at second place in saves in the NAIA with seven on the season. 

The Pioneers will look to keep the good times rolling again this weekend, facing off against RSC rival Indiana Southeast, who is currently first in the conference standings and undefeated against other River State teams. They’ll play a nine-inning match up on Friday, April 9, at home and will play a doubleheader against the Grenadiers the next day on Saturday, April 10. The team will then face off against Shawnee State University in another doubleheader on Monday, April 12, in a non-conference series. All home games this weekend will be streamable through the Point Park sports website.