Point Park opens season with pair of shutouts at WV Tech, 3-0 and 12-0
March 2, 2011
MONTGOMERY, W.Va. – Point Park University opened its 2011 baseball season Wednesday by picking up two shutouts at West Virginia Tech, 3-0 and 12-0. The Pioneers (2-0) collected 10 hits each game and allowed only six hits on the day to stifle the Golden Bears (4-5).
Junior right-hander Derek Peluso (1-0) picked up the victory in game one as he combined with Alcibiades Gonzalez on a three-hit shutout. Peluso, a native of Zelienople, Pa., tossed six shut-out innings with eight strikeouts, three walks and three hits. Gonzalez, a senior transfer from Talladega (Ala.) College, closed out the game in the seventh inning to get the save. Gonzalez is a native of Panama.
Sophomore Ryan Loutsenhizer (1-0), a native of North Huntingdon, Pa., earned the first shutout of his career as the 6-foot-4 right-hander threw five scoreless innings in game two. The game ended early after the mercy rule but not before the Norwin High School grad limited WV Tech to three hits while striking out eight and walking none.
Junior Lee Bodnar broke open the first game with a two-run homer in the third inning to give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead. Point Park went on to add an insurance run in the top of the sixth. Senior Brian Grise collected two hits from the lead-off spot while newcomer Zach O’Neal and veteran Dave Angle totaled two hits apiece from the middle of the lineup.
In the second game, Point Park started the rout with six runs in the fourth inning to make the score 10-0. The big inning included an RBI double from senior Bryce Pfeuffer, and O’Neal also drove in a run with a base hit. Senior Kyle Lucot and newcomer Steve Dujka each produced a key hit in the outburst.
Lucot and O’Neal led the 10-hit attack in game two with a pair of hits each. The Pioneers had offense from several sources as seven players drove in a run – O’Neal (2), Bodnar, Angle, Grise, Pfeuffer Frank Marko and Chris Smith.
Point Park now takes its 2-0 record to Winter Haven, Fla., for 10 games in the Russ Matt Invitational March 6-11. The Pioneers depart for the their trip Thursday night, begin workouts on the weekend and open the 10-game stint Sunday versus St. Xavier (Ill.) and Purdue-North Central (Ind.).
The Pioneers are in year number two under head coach Loren Torres. Point Park was 13-26 last year, and with several returning veterans and talented newcomers, the Pioneers hope to make the next step toward returning the program to its tradition of success. Point Park has five position starters returning as well as two starting pitchers from last year.
Point Park has made 10 appearances in the NAIA World Series, which is tied for fifth most in the country all time.