Point Park beats the rain for KIAC doubleheader sweep of Berea (Ky.)
March 29, 2014 at 10:00 p.m. ET
Tom Birko had four hits and four RBIs on the day as Point Park swept Berea. Photo by Jackie Eigner.
PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University baseball beat the rain and beat Berea (Ky.) College in both ends of a KIAC home doubleheader on Saturday, 12-3 and 10-2, at Point Park Field at Green Tree Park.
The opening games of the four-game series were moved ahead two hours to an 11 a.m. start time due to a rain forecast in the afternoon. And after two neatly and quickly pitched games in which the home team still had enough time to score 22 runs on 24 hits, the doubleheader was in the books by 3:05 p.m., well before the arrival of the rain at 4 p.m.
Point Park (20-11, 6-4 KIAC) mashed the ball at the plate with 14 of its 24 hits on the day going for extra bases. Twenty-one of the runs were earned versus Berea (15-13, 5-5 KIAC), which was passed by Point Park for second place in the KIAC.
The Pioneers also got good pitching with Manny Perdomo and Isaiah Marsh both pitching a complete game. Both starters improved to 4-1 and combined to give up just three earned runs to a Berea team that is fifth in the NAIA in runs per game at 8.2 and fifth in the country in team batting average at .334.
Defensively, Point Park made just one error on the day, which led to two unearned runs in the seventh inning of Game 1. But by that time, the Pioneers were already up 12-1. They busted the game open with 10 runs on seven hits in the fourth inning with the big blow being a three-run homer by first baseman Oscar Romero.
The Pioneers batted around in the big inning, and Tom Birko had an RBI double and a two-run triple in that inning alone. Birko finished 2 for 3 with four RBIs. Shortstop Yuliecer Arias was 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two doubles with the second double bringing home two runs in the fourth.
Ossie Alfonzo collected two RBIs in Game 1 as he, Birko, Arias and Romero combined for all 12 RBIs. Point Park had 10 hits in the game with seven of them going for extra bases.
Berea cut the Point Park lead to 2-1 in the fourth, but that was the only trouble that Perdomo got into. The senior righty from Miami, Fla., scattered five hits, struck out eight and walked two. Only three batted balls left the infield on a fly with one being a flare to shallow right field.
Berea used four pitchers in Game 1 with starter Lawton Jackson leaving before getting an out in the fourth. He faced six batters in the fourth with all of them reaching base to leave him with six runs on six hits in his outing.
Point Park's offense got right back to work in Game 2 with three runs in the bottom of the first. Birko started the inning with a single, and that was followed by RBI doubles by Arias, Romero and Jordan Crowell.
Arias was once again 3 for 4 with another three RBIs, which made him 6 for 8 with six RBIs, three doubles and a triple on the day. His triple brought home two runs in the sixth, when Point Park scored five runs in the inning to put the game out of reach, 10-2.
Berea scored its only two runs in the top of the sixth to get within striking distance at 5-2. But Point Park responded by putting together six hits to seal the game. Shane Conley beat out an infield hit to get things going.
Two batters later, Arias delivered his triple, and before the inning was through, Jonathan Tasis knocked in a run with a base hit, as did Tyler Cattapan and Alfonzo.
Romero picked up another two RBIs as did Cattapan. Birko and Javy Marticorena had two hits apiece as part of the 14-hit attack.
Marsh, a senior right-hander, opened the game with five scoreless innings before Berea got two in the sixth. Marsh gave up three of his seven hits that inning, but he made short work of the Mountaineers as he never faced more than four batters in any of the other frames. Marsh struck out three and walked one.
Berea starter Pat Elzinga (2-1) went four innings and gave up five runs on eight hits. He was one of three pitchers used in the game.
Point Park and Berea finish the series on Sunday with a doubleheader at Point Park Field at 12 p.m. Watch Live on the Point Park Sports Netwtork on iHigh.com: WATCH LIVE
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