Point Park gets seven All-AMC Baseball selections, two AMC Gold Glove winners
May 15, 2010
PITTSBURGH – The Point Park University baseball team had seven players earn recognition in the All-American Mideast Conference baseball selections that were announced Friday. With seven players being recognized, the Pioneers set a school record for the number of All-AMC picks selected in a season in which the conference did not have North and South divisions.
Leading the list of honorees for the Pioneers were a pair of first-team infielders, junior Bryce Pfeuffer (Robinson Twp./Montour) at second base and sophomore Lee Bodnar (Chartiers/Chartiers Valley) at third base.
Pfeuffer, who led the Pioneers with a .375 batting average is pictued left.
Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
Earning a spot on the All-AMC second team were senior pitcher Joe Cox (Swissvale/Central Catholic) and junior designated hitter Dave Angle (Pittsburgh/Pine-Richland).
Rounding out Point Park’s all-conference picks as honorable-mention selections were senior first baseman Dan Campbell (Baldwin/Baldwin), junior center fielder Brian Grise (Munhall/Steel Valley) and freshman utility player Tom Birko (Coraopolis/Montour).
The conference also selected the top defensive player at each position for the AMC Rawlings Gold Glove Team. Campbell earned top defensive honors at first base while junior Kyle Lucot (South Park/South Park) did the same in left field.
The All-AMC first and second teams each include one player each at first base, second base, third base and shortstop, an extra infielder, four outfielders, two catchers, four starting pitchers, one relief pitcher and one designated hitter.
All of the Point Park players earning All-AMC recognition this year did so for the first time in their careers with the exception of Angle and Campbell. Angle was the league’s first-team DH last year, and Campbell was an honorable-mention choice in 2009 and 2007.
Point Park was 13-26 this season under first-year coach Loren Torres, a Miami, Fla., native. The Pioneers had a team batting average of .319 this season, which was 40 points better than the year before. Defensively, Point Park had a conference-low 52 errors, which were 37 less than in 2009.
Pfeuffer, a junior, led Point Park with a .375 batting average and 48 hits – both career highs. The Robinson Twp. native ranked eighth in the AMC in hitting, and he was named the top second baseman in the league.
Pfeuffer started 38 of 39 games at second base, where he made just four errors in 140 chances for a fielding percentage of .971. As the Pioneers’ No. 2 hitter in the batting order, he had eight doubles, 25 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .414. He finished out the year by hitting safely in the last nine games.
Bodnar, a sophomore third baseman, ended the season on an amazing, two-week tear that earned him the first-team selection. The Chartiers native played in 25 of 39 games and made 21 starts. He batted a career-best .458, but he did not have enough at bats to qualify for the league leaders. Over the last two weeks of the season, Bodnar hit .548 (23 for 42), and he ended the year on a 12-game hitting streak.
Bodnar hit .411 in AMC games, and he had season totals of eight doubles, two home runs and 19 RBIs.
Cox, a senior left-hander, was one of the top pitchers in the AMC this year. He earned a decision in each of his eight starts – six of which were complete games – and he finished with a 5-3 record for the 13-26 Pioneers.
The 6-3 native of Swissvale was second in the AMC in earned run average at 3.40, a figure that was bested only by AMC Pitcher of the Year Jeff Shenker of Malone at 3.00. Cox’s five wins were third most in the conference, and he was tied for first in complete games. In 50.1 innings, he gave up 55 hits and only two of those were homers. Other numbers include 31 strikeouts, 15 walks, 19 earned runs and an opponents’ batting average of .276.
Angle, a junior in his second season at Point Park, got hot late in the season and ended up hitting .302 (32 for 106) with a team-high 26 RBIs to earn second-team DH honors. He posted careers highs with six homers, three triples and 11 doubles for a slugging percentage of .632. Angle, who had 30 of his 38 starts at DH, also saw some action at catcher and first base. In 2009, he hit .367 with five homers and 37 RBIs.
Campbell is an honorable-mention pick for the third time in his career after putting up a career-best batting of .363 this year. After playing catcher his first three years, he made the move to first base for his senior season. The left-handed hitting Campbell had 41 hits, a slugging percentage of .442 and an on-base average of .478. Along with his AMC Gold Glove award, he was also chosen as Point Park’s Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year.
Grise, a junior who has started in center field all three years, had a breakout season. He batted a career-high .315 (34 for 108), and he posted career highs in almost every offensive category. Other numbers for the speedy Grise include 22 RBIs and seven stolen bases in nine attempts. Defensively, he had only three errors in 90 chances in center, and he tallied five outfield assists.
Birko, a freshman who was third on the team in hitting at .330, used his versatility to fill a utility role. He started 32 of 39 games with 12 coming in right field, 10 at third base, seven at shortstop, two at DH and one at second base. As Point Park’s leadoff hitter for the majority of the year, Birko had an on-base percentage of .451 and tied for the team lead with 22 walks. Birko added 16 RBIs, and he was 5 for 7 in stolen bases.
Lucot, a junior in his second year at Point Park, started all 39 games in left field on his way to earning the AMC Gold Glove award at his position. In 62 chances, he made only three errors, and he totaled six outfield assists for fielding percentage of .952.
Point Park joined the AMC in 1999, and although the Pioneers had eight All-AMC choices in 2004, that was a year in which separate all-conference teams were selected for both the AMC North and South divisions. This year was the second year in a row that the league has had just one division after having two divisions the previous five seasons.
The last time Point Park had as many as two players on the all-conference first team was in 2004 when it had four players on the All-AMC North Division team. The last time the Pioneers had two or more first teamers under the current AMC alignment was in 2001 when AMC Player of the Year Don Kelly led a list of three Point Park players to get first-team honors. Kelly, now 30, was drafted in the 8th round of the MLB draft that year by the Detroit Tigers, a team that he currently plays a utility role for.
Point Park’s two selections to the AMC Rawlings Gold Glove team are the most for the school since the league began naming that team.