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Cox's three-hit shutout forces split on opening day for Point Park

Feb. 28, 2010

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Point Park University senior left-hander Joe Cox pitched a three-hit shutout Sunday to blank Davenport (Mich.), 9-0, in the second game of non-conference baseball doubleheader.

Point Park (1-1) opened its 2010 baseball season with an 11-0 loss to Davenport (3-4) in the first game of the twin bill, but Cox’s second-career shutout forced a split on the first day of the Russ Matt Central Florida Invitational.

BOX SCORE 1 BOX SCORE 2

First-year head coach Loren Torres made his debut for the Pioneers. Torres, who was hired last July, has five years of previous head coaching experience on the college level. The Miami, Fla., native led NAIA Judson (Ill.) University to a 107-104-2 record from 2003-07.

Joe Cox action 2009

Cox, a 6-3 lefty from Swissvale and a graduate of Pittsburgh Central Catholic, struck out six, walked one and yielded only three hits. After working out of a jam in the first inning, Cox (pictured) did not allow a runner past second base the final six innings in notching his ninth complete game in 22 career starts. He faced only one batter over the minimum the final four innings.

In what was a day ruled by left-handed starters, Davenport southpaw Brandon Romero shut out Point Park in the opener after registering 10 strikeouts and no walks.

Point Park managed just six hits – all singles -- versus Romero, and the only runner to get past second base was leadoff man Ricky Cordido (Caracas, Venezuela) in the first. But Romero set the tone for the game by retiring the next three batters in order after facing runners at first and third with nobody out.

The Point Park bats came alive in the nightcap to help the Pioneers extended their 1-0 lead with four runs in the top of the fifth inning.

Junior Dave Angle (Pittsburgh/Pine-Richland) broke open the game with a three-run triple to get things started in the fifth. Angle, who hit .367 as the first-team All-American Mideast Conference designated hitter last year, was 2 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored in game two.

Junior second baseman Bryce Pfeuffer (Robinson Twp./Montour) added an RBI single to make the score 5-0 after five innings. The Pioneers tacked on three more runs in the sixth, and a run-scoring single by senior Jesse Pesanka (Baldwin/Baldwin) got the scoring going.

Pesanka’s base hit set up runners at first and third. Then a throwing error by the catcher allowed Angle to trot home from third, and Pesanka scored all the way from first for an 8-0 lead.

The Pioneers tallied 11 hits in the second game with Angle, sophomore third baseman Frank Marko (Robinson Twp./Montour) and junior left fielder Kyle Lucot (South Park/South Park) getting two hits apiece.

Marko doubled and scored on a single by freshman Tom Birko (Coraopolis/Montour) to give Point Park a 1-0 lead in the fourth.

Lucot’s bunt single started the four-run rally in the Point Park fifth, and the Pioneers sent 10 men to the plate that inning. Lucot added an RBI single in the seventh after junior center fielder Brian Grise (Munhall/Steel Valley) reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second.

In the first game of the day, Davenport scored four runs on five hits in the third to take a 4-0 lead. The Panthers, a member of the NAIA Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference who started their baseball program last year, added four more runs in the fifth to open up a 9-0 advantage.

Davenport started the third inning with four singles in a row, and it had the first five batters of the fifth inning reach base.

Senior right-hander Seth Martin (Verona/Penn Hills) got the start for Point Park in game one. Martin went four innings before being relieved by senior lefty Anthony Sorce (Verona/Penn Hills) and freshman southpaw Dave Durso (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic).

Point Park went 1-2 versus Davenport in its spring training trip to Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports last year.

Point Park continues its 10-game spring slate with a doubleheader versus Bethel (Ind.) Monday at 12:30 p.m. The Pilots are 0-4 on the year.