Point Park ends season by completing sweep of Cedarville on Senior Day
April 23, 2010
ROBINSON TWP., Pa. – The Point Park University baseball team finished its season in style by completing a four-game sweep of visiting Cedarville in American Mideast Conference action Friday at Frank J. Marko Field.
In the first game of the day, Point Park whipped Cedarville, 10-0, in five innings as a one-hitter by Seth Martin (Verona/Penn Hills) allowed the Pioneers to out-hit the Yellow Jackets, 14-1.
In the nightcap, Point Park did all of its scoring in the second inning and came away with a 7-6 victory. The Pioneers had six of their seven hits in that decisive inning to take a 7-5 lead.
PICTURED LEFT: Senior first baseman Dan Campbell was voted Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year on Friday.
Point Park (13-26, 6-18 AMC) finished its season by winning five of six games and taking all four games from Cedarville (22-21, 6-14 AMC). The Pioneers stared the series Thursday by earning victories of 9-6 and 10-6 on a day in which the teams combined for nine home runs.
The Pioneers celebrated Senior Day Friday, and it was a couple of senior pitchers – Martin and Joe Cox (Swissvale/Central Catholic), who picked up victories in the last starts of their careers.
Other seniors include first baseman Dan Campbell (Baldwin/Baldwin), who was walked five times Friday and finished the season with a career-high batting average of .363 (41 of 113).
Senior catcher Brandon Haburjak (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic) was 3 for 6 with a couple of RBIs on Senior Day to boost his season average to a career-high .309 (17 of 55). The captain missed much of the early season with a hand injury.
The final senior was Jesse Pesanka (Baldwin/Baldwin), a four-year starter who had started every game in right field prior to having his season cut short by a hand injury. No one had more hits, RBIs or games started in a Point Park uniform than Pesanka over the last four years. He made an appearance as a pinch runner Friday.
Martin, a right-hander who started more games than any other Point Park pitcher over the last four years, had one of his best days Friday. In five innings, he faced the minimum number of batters. Only three of the 15 batters he faced reached base, but each was retired via a double play.
In five innings, Martin struck out three, walked one, and the only hit he gave up was a single to start the fourth inning.
The Pioneers had plenty of offense in support of Martin, and they broke the game open with six runs in the fourth to take a 9-0 lead. Point Park put together six hits in the decisive inning with Ricky Cordido (Caracas, Venezuela), Haburjak and Bryce Pfeuffer (Robinson Twp./Montour) each contributing RBI singles.
The inning was capped off with a sacrifice fly by junior designated hitter Dave Angle (Pittsburgh/Pine-Richland) and a two-run triple from Lee Bodnar (Chartiers/Chartiers Valley).
Pfeuffer was 3 for 3 with two RBIs in the first game Friday, and the junior second baseman was 2 for 3 in the second game. With that 5 for 6 performance, he finished the season as the Pioneers leading hitter at .375 (48 of 128).
Freshman right fielder Tom Birko (Coraopolis/Montour) was 2 for 2 with three runs, and he joined Haburjak as players with two hits in the opener.
Leading, 9-0, the Point Park fifth started with a double by freshman pinch hitter Dillon Haire (North Port, Fla./North Port). Haburjak’s single set up runners at first and third for pinch hitter Dave Durso (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic), who laced an RBI single to put the game to an end at 10-0.
The Pioneers got 11 hits and nine earned runs off Cedarville starter T.J. Taylor, who struck out four and walked three in 4.0 innings.
In the second game, Point Park once again broke things open with a big inning by getting seven runs on six hits in the second. The Pioneers had six of their seven hits in the frame to erase Cedarville’s early lead.
Consecutive doubles by Brian Grise (Munhall/Steel Valley) and Cordido produced the first run, and Haburjak followed with an RBI base hit. After runs scored on a wild pitch and an infield hit, Angle provided the first of two big blows, a two-run double to the gap in right. Bodnar closed out the inning with an RBI double to the other gap as the Pioneers took a 7-5 lead.
With that double, Bodnar completed a great final two weeks of the season. The sophomore third baseman finished the season with a 12-game hitting streak, and he hit safely in all 12 games since earning a starting spot April 10. He hit .438 (32 of 73) for the year after going 23 of 42 (.548) over the last two weeks.
By picking up the victory in game two, Cox finished at 5-3 for the year. The senior lefty gave up 13 hits in seven innings, but he gave up only one run over the last five innings. Three of the six runs charged to him were unearned as three of Cedarville’s four runs in the second inning were unearned.
A double, a single and a sacrifice fly in the Cedarville fifth inning cut the Point Park lead to 7-6, but Cox was able to finish off the game and preserve the win. A key out was when he got Cedarville’s David Convertini to fly out to left with runners at the corners to end the sixth. Convertini had been 3 for 3 to that point.
Other than the second, Point Park didn’t get much off of losing pitcher Matt Willett (4-3), a 6-6, senior right-hander. Willett gave up seven runs on seven hits in six innings, but he was also plagued by seven walks.
At a post-game gathering, Point Park handed out some team awards, which were voted on by players and coachers.
Campbell was chosen as Team MVP and the Offensive Player of the Year. Cox was voted Pitcher of the Year, and Birko was named Freshman of the Year. Grise, a center fielder, was voted Defensive Player of the Year. The Team Batting Champion Award went to Pfeuffer for leading the Pioneers in hitting.
Point Park completed its first season under head coach Loren Torres, a native of Miami, Fla, who has 120 victories in six years as a collegiate baseball head coach. Torres won 107 games in five seasons as head coach at NAIA member Judson (Ill.) from 2003-07.