Baseball defeat NCAA DII Seton Hill, lose first series in RSC to Midway University

Pioneers now drop to second place behind Eagles in River States Conference, still sit in top 50 in NAIA


Photo courtesy of Kevin Taylor. The Point Park baseball team walking off the field after their walk off victory against Seton Hill on April 11.

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park baseball (26-11, RSC 16-5) went 2-2 last week after they defeated NCAA Division II opponent Seton Hill on April 11 before they lost two of three in a road series against River States Conference rival Midway University on April 14 and 15. The losses to Midway now place the Pioneers second in the conference, as Midway picks up the tiebreaker in the two teams only series of the regular season. The Pioneers now have less than two weeks left in the regular season with 13 games left to play. 

Game one was a back and forth affair between the Griffins and Pioneers, with Seton Hill scoring first with a run in the top of the second and third to make it 2-0. Sophomore infielder Carlos Martinez started the scoring with a fielder’s choice to make it 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth, before junior infielder Isaac Santana smashed a massive three-run home run to left to make it 4-2 in favor of Point Park in the fifth. The Pioneers tacked on another run in the sixth thanks to a solo shot to left off the bat of junior outfielder Carlos Burroughs before Seton Hill responded. The Griffins brought in two in the top of the seventh to make it 5-4, before the game was tied up in the ninth at five a piece. Santana played hero once again for the Pioneers as he sent a single to left with the bases loaded to score the winning run in walk-off fashion. 

Santana went two-for-four with four RBI’s in the game. Sophomore catcher Jordon Campbell scored twice and collected a stolen base, while his brother, sophomore outfielder Jared Campbell, walked twice and collected a hit. The bullpen was up and active for the Pioneers  as six different pitchers stepped onto the mound for PPU, with only three of the six runs scored being earned runs. 

The first game of the three game road series against the Midway Eagles was an offensive showcase for the Pioneers once again, even after the Eagles put up two in the bottom of the first. PPU put up four in the top of the second with a pair of singles from Martinez and sophomore infielder Omar Morrilo. Jordan Campbell doubled and Burroughs tripled to score the other two runs to jump ahead 4-2. Midway scored once again in the third before Santana continued his hot streak with a single to right to make it 5-3.

 Junior infielder Eddie Javier Jr. crushed a solo shot to left in the sixth, followed up by a three run homer to left by Jordon Campbell to blow the game open. Jared Campbell followed his brother up with a solo home run to left in the same inning to make it 10-3. Morrilo scored two in the following inning off of a fielder’s choice to go up 12-3, before Midway scored one in the eighth. Santana singled again to finish up the scoring in the ninth to end the game at 13-4.

Senior starting pitcher Easton Klein went seven innings and gave up six hits in the win, striking out only four in an oddly human appearance from the starter. The Pioneers bullpen finished up the eighth and ninth only giving up a single run off a solo homer, but only struck out one. 

Game two on Friday saw the offense go down quietly after an explosive first game, as Midway struck early once again with a run in the bottom of the first. Another run in the fourth made it 2-0 in favor of the Eagles before a pair of solo home runs in the top of the fifth off the bats of junior catcher Michali Brito and Santana tied it at two apiece. A solo shot in the bottom of the inning by Midway instantly broke the deadlock, and was the final run scored in the game, as the Pioneers offense couldn’t heat back up and fell 3-2. 

Brito led the team offensively, going two-for-four with one of the two RBI’s in the game for PPU. Sophomore starter Javier Cardoso went five innings in the loss and only gave up four hits while three runs scored (two earned) and he struck out three. Even in the loss, the Pioneers out hit the Eagles six-to-four. 

The series finale on Saturday saw an explosion on the Midway side this time, as the Eagles scored two in the first before Point Park found one in the third off the bat Burroughs, thanks to another solo homer. Midway instantly responded with three in the bottom half of the inning and then another three in the fourth to go up 8-1. Two in the sixth made it a 10-1 ball game before the offense finally awoke for the Pioneers in the eighth. Freshman utilityman Logan Gonzalez went deep to right to score three to start the inning, before Burroughs went deep once again with a two run shot — his second of the game. Jared Campbell kept the offense going with a two run shot of his own to make it 10-8. Midway was able to get out of the inning without any more harm, before putting up two of their own in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 12-8. The offense stayed silent in the ninth, which ended the game with the Pioneers first series loss to an RSC team this season. 

Point Park will have an opportunity to bounce back this week as they return home to Pittsburgh. The Pioneers will start with a double header at Green Tree Park on April 18, before publication. The team will then take on Penn State-Beaver at home on April 19 in a single game, before hosting the Indiana University-Kokomo Cougars on April 21 and 22 in a three game RSC series. All home games will be available to stream through the Point Park athletics website, as well as any schedule updates on the season.