Baseball starts 2022 season with 9-4 record after road trip through Florida, Kentucky

Start RSC play with 3-0 sweep over Brescia in dominant fashion

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

The men’s baseball team has started their season with a 9-4 record and a 3-0 River State Conference (RSC) record. The Pioneers started their season going 1-3 in their first series of the year against Cleary University, before turning it around and winning eight of their last nine, including taking part in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational tournament. Point Park currently stands at first place in the RSC standings and is ranked 25th in the NAIA National Rankings to start the 2022 season.

Point Park traveled to Marion, North Carolina to take on the Cleary Cougars on Friday, Feb. 18 and Saturday, Feb. 19. The Cougars would end up taking the series 1-3, even though the Pioneers would outscore their NAIA opponent 25-21 throughout the series. The Cougars shut out the Pioneers in the first two games of the season, ending both games at 4-0, before Point Park erupted for 25 runs in game three on Saturday in a 25-8 blowout. Cleary responded in game four with a 5-0 win to shut out the Pioneers three out of four times and take the series. Senior outfielder Ed Pfluger led the way in game three, with four Runs Batted In (RBI) and a homerun in the game.

The Pioneers then headed back south on Friday, Feb. 25, to play in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, an event the team has taken part in over the last couple of years. Point Park would come out the gates flying, winning five straight before finally falling in the final game of the invitational. The Pioneers defeated Trinity Baptist University on Friday, Feb. 25 to start the trip, winning 12-2, before putting up another blowout against Roosevelt University the next day, 16-6. Point Park then took on Judson University on Sunday, Feb. 27, in a sweep of a two game series, 9-4 and 6-5. Monday, Feb. 28 would be the last two games of the invitational for Point Park, with a two games series against Cornerstone University, split with a 10-7 walk off win, and an 8-9 loss after a last inning comeback came up short.

Senior Starting Pitcher Leo Diaz and Outfielder Gianmarco Marcelletti would receive RSC player of the week awards after the invitational, with Diaz throwing six innings through three games with only a 1.50 Earned Run Average (ERA), while Marcelletti would go 8 for 16 (.500) at the plate, with three home runs and 13 Runs Batted In (RBI’s).

“No matter what role a person is playing, we’re all there for each other,” said Pfluger. “We are playing for one another. Everyone has the utmost confidence in the person standing next to them.”

During Point Park’s first series of March, the Pioneers took on Brescia University on the road once again in a three game series. Point Park would sweep their RSC rivals, winning games one and two on Friday, March 4, 10-3 and 10-1. Saturday, March 5, would be the cherry on top for the Pioneers, with a 17-6 blowout to complete the sweep and rise to 9-4 on the season. Freshmen Jordan Campbell and Jared Campbell would lead the way in scoring in games one and two, with Jared scoring four RBI’s in game one, and Jordan scoring four in game two. Pfluger would score seven RBI’s throughout the series to lead the team in scoring.

“We knew we’d have to come into this year working harder and playing better to keep our ranking and prove that we deserve it this year,” said Pfluger. “So far I feel like we’ve shown we can meet and exceed these expectations. I don’t think we’ll have a problem continuing to do so.”

With a hot start to the season, the Pioneers will look to continue their streak with a road trip to Oakland City, Indiana on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12, where Point Park will take on the Oakland City University Mighty Oaks in a three game series. The team will then return to Pittsburgh for their first home stand of the season, taking Penn State-New Kensington on Tuesday, March 15 in a double header. Home games will be streamable for those to watch on the Point Park Athletics website.