Point Park finishes sweep of Brescia (Ky.) in a big way, wins 14-3, 8-1
April 7, 2013 at 8:45 p.m. ET
Tom Birko had four hits on Sunday and was 3 for 3 in Game 2. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University baseball team put the finishing touches on a sweep of Brescia (Ky.) University in a big way on Sunday by winning both ends of the KIAC doubleheader, 14-3 and 8-1, at Point Park Field at Green Tree Park.
Not only did the Pioneers (22-11, 12-4 KIAC) outscore Brescia (18-24, 7-9 KIAC), 22-4, on the day to complete the four-game sweep, they also out-hit the visiting Bearcats, 29-5 and didn't allow an earned run. The victories extend the Pioneers' season-long win streak to 13 in a row and extends their first-place lead in the KIAC standings to 1.5 games.
Both Point Park starting pitchers on Sunday -- sophomore Nathan Sphon and junior Isaiah Marsh -- flirted with a no-hitter beyond the fifth inning, and the Pioneers' bats battered Brescia pitching for 14 and 15 hits, respectively, in Games 1 and 2.
Neither Sphon nor Marsh gave up an earned run, and they gave up only three hits combined in 12.1 innings. Sunday's starters picked up where Sean Clark and Manny Perdomo left off on Saturday. Point Park's starters threw all but 3.2 innings of the weekend series, and they gave up only two earned runs combined.
Sphon, Point Park's starter in the opener, was two outs away from a no-hitter. After he gave up a clean single to left with one out in the seventh, he was taken out with a 14-3 lead. The Greensburg, Pa, native struck out five, walked three and all three runs charged to him were unearned as the Pioneers made four errors.
But Point Park had plenty of offense to make up for the errors. The game became a rout with the Pioneers scored nine runs on seven hits in the fourth inning to stake a 13-0 lead through four.
Javy Marticorena blasted a three-run homer in the fourth as the Pioneers began to lay it on. That big fly came right after RBI singles from Chaz Russo and Jordan Crowell. Don McDuffee, who was 3 for 4 with three RBIs, finished off the outburst with a two-run single.
The Pioneers had taken a 4-0 lead with four runs in the second. Point Park got four hits that inning with three of them being doubles. After Tom Birko stroked an RBI single, Rob Novia and McDuffee ripped back-to-back RBI doubles later in the inning.
Besides McDuffee with two hits, Marlon Leyva and Ossie Alfonzo also had multi-hit games with two hits apiece. Point Park out-hit the vistors, 14-4.
While Game 1 had a couple of big innings, Game 2 had the Pioneers score a couple runs per inning to gradually build an 8-0 lead after four.
Jordan Crowell was 3 for 3, and his RBI single made it 1-0 after the first. The next inning, Crowell knocked in a run with a two-out hit two batters after McDuffee had done the same.
The third inning had an RBI double from Birko and a sacrifice fly from McDuffee. Birko was 3 for 3 like Crowell, and McDuffee picked up another couple of RBIs to give him a total of five on the day.
When Brescia went to the bullpen to start the fourth, Point Park used four singles, a double and a sacrifice fly to push across three more runs for the 8-0 lead. The fourth single of the inning was Tom Pasinski's, and it brought in two. Leyva and Novia produced two hits each to help the Pioneers total 15 as a team.
Marsh cruised through the first four innings highlighted by the junior from Clear Brook, Va., retiring the side in order in the first, second and fourth. He gave up two hits -- one of which was on a bouncer that settled behind the mound -- in his six innings of work. A base hit to left ended his no-hit bid with two outs in the fifth.
With its 13 straight wins, the Pioneers will next play non-conference games versus Clarion on Tuesday (1 p.m.) and Penn State-Greater Allegheny on Wednesday (1 p.m.). Tuesday's games are part of a doubleheader, and Wednesday's date with PSU-Greater Allegheny is one varsity game followed by a JV game between the schools.
Point Park has a showdown with second-place IU Southeast (10-5 KIAC) for its final conference series next Friday and Saturday (April 12-13). The four-game series will likely decide the KIAC regular season champion and the No. 1 seed in the KIAC Tournament April 24-27 at IU Southeast.
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