Point Park rallies to beat IWU in eight innings, takes 3 of 4 in series
March 19, 2011
MARION, Ind. – Point Park University rallied to beat Indiana Wesleyan, 9-7, in eight innings Saturday in the second game of an NAIA baseball doubleheader. Although Point Park lost Saturday’s opener, 3-1, it still won three of four games in the weekend series.
Point Park will take a 12-4 record into Sunday’s home opener -- the first-ever game for the Pioneers in their new facility -- Green Tree Park. Point Park hosts Penn State-Beaver at 1 p.m. for its first game against non-NAIA competition.
The Point Park offense came alive midway through Saturday’s nightcap after it was held in check for much of the day. The Pioneers had six hits in losing game one, 3-1, but three of those hits came in a last-ditch effort to tie in the seventh.
In game two, the Pioneers found themselves trailing, 4-1, after three innings. But Point Park erupted for four runs and a 5-4 lead in the top of the fourth. The four-hit inning included RBI singles from Bryce Pfeuffer, Tom Pasinski and Dillon Sauers.
Point Park’s 5-4 lead was brief, however, as an important, two-run double by Indiana Wesleyan’s Derek Freds put the Wildcats back in front of 6-5 in the bottom of the fourth. But Point Park tied things up at 6-6 in the fifth when Kyle Lucot singled, stole second and scored on Dave Angle’s base hit.
Point Park’s Steve Dujka delivered a two-out, RBI double in the seventh to put Point Park head, 7-6, but Indiana Wesleyan was able to scrape across the tying run in the bottom of the frame and force extra innings.
After two singles and a sacrifice bunt, the Wildcats had runners at first and third with one out. The tying run came home when Josh Ellis pulled off a safety squeeze bunt. Ellis was retired at first for the second out of the inning, but the damage was done. Point Park reliever Ben Rodriguez, who came on in the sixth for starter James Monroe, stranded a couple of Indiana Wesleyan runners to end the seventh.
Pasinski, who was 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI, started the Point Park seventh with a base hit. Brian Grise followed with an RBI double, and two batters later, Lee Bodnar produced a sacrifice fly for a 9-7 lead.
Indiana Wesleyan got a single to start the last of the eighth, but Rodriguez quickly induced a double play and a ground out to end the game. Rodriguez (2-0), a junior righty who transferred from Elgin (IL) CC, got the win with three hits, one run and one walk in three innings.
Point Park’s 14-hit attack got three hits from Pasinski and two hits apiece from Lucot, Angle, Sauers and Zach O’Neal.
Monroe (1-1), a freshman from Miami, Fla., did not figure in the decision but he went the first five innings. He struck out three, walked four, gave up six hits and three of the six runs charge to him were unearned as Point Park had three errors.
Point Park could not get much going in game one although it threatened in the seventh. Trailing,3-1, Rob Novia, Frank Marko and Sauers strung together singles to load the bases with one out. But winning pitcher Tim Zeigler forced a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and finish off his complete game.
Point Park right-hander Sean Clark (2-1) went all six innings in taking the loss. Clark was touched for 10 hits, struck out four and walked one.
Indiana Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead with three hits and a sacrifice fly in the second. An inning later, the Wildcats got two runs on three hits and also took advantage of an error. Clark left the bases loaded to prevent further damage and did not give up another run.
Dillon Sauers, Point Park’s starting shortstop, had two hits in each game Saturday. The junior from Bridgeville, Pa., was 8 for 13 in the four-game series.