Baseball secures walk-off win against UNOH, take two of three over Rio Grande

The Pioneers sit just outside of NAIA Top 25, ranked 27

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park baseball went 3-1 over their four game road trip in Ohio this week after they defeated the University of Northwestern Ohio (3-9) on March 9 and won two of the three games against the University of Rio Grande (10-14, 3-3 RSC). The Pioneers (12-5, 5-1 RSC) now sit first in the River States Conference and are sitting just outside of the Top 25 rankings in the NAIA. 

Game one took place in Chillicothe, OH as the Pioneers took on the UNOH Racers to start off their midwest road trip. The Racers struck first and scored two in the top of the second inning from a sacrifice groundout and a run-scoring triple to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Pioneers instantly responded in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single from sophomore infielder Omar Morillo to make it 2-1. UNOH made it 3-1 with another RBI single in the top of the fourth before an infield single by junior infielder Issac Santana scored a run to make it 3-2. 

An RBI single from the Racers and Morillo in the eighth inning made it a 4-3 game heading into the ninth until an insurance run in the top of the ninth gave UNOH a 5-3 lead. A double from sophomore outfielder Jared Campbell and a hit by pitch on junior outfielder Eddie Javier Jr. in the bottom of the ninth brought sophomore catcher Jordon Campbell to the plate. With runners on first and third and no outs, Jordan Campbell knocked it out of the park to give the Pioneers the walk off win, 6-5. 

Point Park traveled to Rio Grande on Friday to take on the Red Storm in a three game RSC series. Morillo started the scoring for Point Park yet again, with another RBI single in the top of the second to lead 1-0. An infielding error allowed a run from Rio Grande to score in the same inning to tie the game up. The bottom of the fourth was the dagger for Rio Grande, as the Red Storm found six runs thanks to a trio of singles that propelled them to a 7-1 lead. Another single in the bottom of the sixth made it a 8-1 game before the Pioneers finally crossed the plate thanks to a wild pitch that scored Morillo. A sacrifice fly in the eighth put another run on the board for the Red Storm which gave them a 9-2 advantage. PPU attempted a comeback in the top of the ninth after they scored three runs off the bats of Jared Campbell, Javier Jr. and Santana, but still came up short. Rio Grande walked away with the victory, 9-5. 

Game two and three took place on Saturday, with better results for the visiting Pioneers. Point Park scored early in game two thanks to a pair of singles by Jordon Campbell and Javier Jr. that scored three runs. A sacrifice fly from junior catcher Michali Brito gave PPU a 4-0 lead before Rio Grande got the chance to even hit. Morillo stayed hot with another RBI in the top of the fourth followed by a two run homer courtesy of Jordon Campbell and a sacrifice groundout by senior outfielder Justin Oakley to make it an 8-0 game. Sophomore starting pitcher Javier Cardoso went the distance in game two and shut out the Red Storm through nine innings and  only allowed four hits. 

Game three saw similar results for the Pioneers as Oakley and Santana scored two runs after being walked with bases loaded in the top of the first to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Jordon Campbell hit an infield single and scored another run in the top of the second to make it 3-0 before Point Park found three in the top of the third thanks to a single from sophomore infielder Carlos Martinez and a two run double from Jared Campbell, which made it 6-0. Rio Grande responded quickly with a sacrifice double play to score for the first time in 11 innings. Jared Campbell hit a double in the fifth to make it a 7-1 game before an RBI single from the Red Storm in the bottom of the seventh made the score 7-2. 

Point Park’s pitching was able to keep the Red Storm’s offense under control for the remainder of the game to take the series and claim first in the RSC standings. Junior starter Joathon Rivera pitched the complete game and gave up five hits, struck out three batters, and gave up the two earned runs. 

The Pioneers will be back on the road this week as they look to take on Penn State-Dubois in a double header on March 15 in Dubois. The team will then travel south to Charleston, WV to take on the WVU Tech Golden Bears in a three game series on March 17 and 18 in an RSC match up. Point Park then travels to Howell, MI to take on Cleary University in yet another double header on March 21. Streaming options are available on the Point Park Athletics website, as well as any future schedule changes.