Baseball sweeps Washington & Jefferson, take series over RSC rival IU-Southeast

Pioneers fall slightly in rankings but continue receiving votes, now sit 42nd in NAIA by votes


Submitted to the Globe by Joey Bova. Junior infielders Isaac Santana (20), Eddie Javier Jr. (21), and sophomore catcher Jordon Campbell (far right) high five their teammates after a win. The Pioneers continue to hold first place in the River States Conference, thanks to 15-3 conference record, and have yet to drop a series to an RSC opponent this season.

Written By Mason Strawn, Co-Sports Editor

Point Park baseball (24-9, 15-3 RSC) went 5-1 last week, including a doubleheader sweep on the road against Washington & Jefferson College on March 4, and a home series win over Indiana University Southeast on March 8 and 9. The wins help the Pioneers hold onto first place in the River States Conference, holding one game over Midway University in second. Point Park continues to receive votes to be placed in the Top 25 rankings, but are still on the outside looking in. 

Game one against the Presidents turned into a slugfest quickly, with W&J putting up a four spot in the bottom of the first before putting up three in the second. Down seven early, the Pioneers instantly responded back with a trio of runs in the top of third off the bats of sophomore outfielder Jared Campbell, sophomore catcher Jordon Campbell, and junior catcher Michali Brito. A pair of homeruns in the fourth gave the Pioneers’ their first lead, with a solo shot from senior outfielder Justin Oakley and a monster grand slam from Jared Campbell to put PPU ahead 8-7. The Presidents tied the game in the bottom of the inning to make it eight a piece before senior outfielder Justin Oakley went deep again with a three run shot to center in the sixth for his second longball of the afternoon. W&J responded with their own two runs in the bottom of the inning again to make it 11-10 in favor of Point Park. Brito singled home two runs in the seventh to add some insurance, which included scoring off of a failed pick off attempt after senior infielder Issac Santana reached with an RBI single. The Pioneers walked away with the 15-10 victory. 

Game two saw the Pioneers’ pitchers shut down the Presidents’ offense quickly, with a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brito to make it 1-0 in the top of the first. Another sacrifice fly, this time off the bat of Santana, scored another runner in the third before a two-run shot to center off the bat of junior infielder Eddie Javier Jr. made it a 4-0 game. A solo shot from Jared Campbell in the fifth and a pair of runs in the sixth from sophomore infielder Omar Morillo and junior outfielder Carlos Burroughs helped solidify the win for the Pioneers, who walked away with the sweep with a 7-0 victory. 

A combination of three different pitchers helped hold down the Presidents’ offense, with sophomore Karving Vargas Colon taking the start and hurled two innings of two hit ball with a trio of strikeouts. Freshman reliever Adam Zulka stepped up after Colon and went three innings as well and gave up only two hits and three punchouts. Sophomore Wendy Senvil finished off the contest with two innings of one hit ball, striking out another three in the winning effort. 

The Pioneers returned to Wild Things Park to take on the rival Grenadiers on Saturday, starting with a double header. Game one saw the PPU offense jump on IU-Southeast early, with Santana leading off the scoring with a fielder’s choice, followed up by a pair of RBI singles by Javier Jr. and Oakley to make it 3-0 in the bottom of the first. The offense between the two sides stayed stagnant for four innings, before the Grenadiers broke through in the top of the sixth with three of their own to tie the game up at three a piece. Burroughs broke the deadlock immediately though and smashed a two run bomb to right to push the Pioneers ahead 5-3, which remained the score until the final frame, solidifying the win. 

Game two saw the offense break out early once again as the Pioneers put up two in the bottom of the second thanks to a two run shot off the bat of Oakley to make it 2-0. The Grenadiers responded with a run in the top of the third, before finding three in the fourth to make it a 4-2 game. An insurance run in the top of the seventh helped keep the Grenadiers ahead to the end, marking the Pioneers second loss in the month of April so far. 

Game three saw PPU make a comeback in the back third of the game, after the Grenadiers scored a run from the top of the second to the top of the sixth to take a 5-0 lead. A trio of runs in the bottom of the sixth saw the Pioneers offense bounce back, cutting the lead to two. The Grenadiers put up a four spot in the seventh to make it a 9-3 game, before Point Park found four of their own in the bottom of the inning to make it a two run game once again at 9-7. A run in the eighth for PPU made it a one run game, before the Pioneers walked off their RSC rivals with two in the bottom of the ninth to propel them to the 10-9 win and series victory.

The Pioneers take on Seton Hill University on March 11, before publication, in a single home match up at Green Tree Park. The team will then take on Penn State-New Kensington in a double header on March 12 at Green Tree Park once again. Point Park will then travel south to take on RSC rival and second placed Midway University on March 14 and 15 in a three game series that will have serious implications on the RSC standings. All schedule changes and streaming options for the game will be available through the Point Park Athletics website.