Point Park opens baseball season with two wins at Martin Methodist (TN), 10-7, 10-8
Feb. 24, 2012
Mike Tullio closed out both games and picked up two saves. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
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PULASKI, Tenn. -- The Point Park University baseball team opened its 2012 season Friday by getting 10 runs and 10 hits in both ends of a doubleheader to sweep Martin Methodist (TN) by scores of 10-7 and 10-8.
The Pioneers (2-0) are in the 'others receiving votes' section of the NAIA Baseball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll as is Martin Methodist (7-9). Point Park is just outside the Top 25 at No. 26 overall a year after finishing No. 23 in the final poll of 2011.
Point Park continues its challenging, early schedule with two games at NAIA No. 7 Cumberland (TN) (6-4) on Saturday at 1 p.m. (EST). The Pioneers conclude the weekend road trip Sunday at Campbellsville (KY) at 1:30 p.m. Campbellsville (7-0) is also receiving votes in the preaseason Top 25.
All games on the weekend will have a live video stream online courtesy of the home teams. For links to live coverage,
Point Park had plenty of hitting in both games, got two solid performances from starting pitchers who were backed by offense. Mike Tullio closed out both games and picked up two saves on the day.
In Game 1, the Pioneers got good production from the top of the order as No. 1-2 hitters Tom Birko and Dillon Sauers were 3 for 5 and 2 for 4, respectively. In the middle of the lineup, cleanup hitter Ossie Alfonso was 1 for 3 with a three-run homer and fellow newcomer Javier Marticorena was 2 for 3 with a couple of RBIs from the No. 5 slot.
Derek Peluso got the opening-day start for the Pioneers and went five innings. Tullio pitched the final two frames to pick up the save. Peluso gave up five runs the first two innings but settled in to retire 7 of 8 batters after that.
Peluso's main mistake was giving up a three-run homer in the second, but that merely cut Point Park's lead to 7-5 as the Pioneers struck for two runs in the first and five in the second. Alfonso's homer came in the second. Alfonso is a sophomore catcher who transferred from Miami Dade College.
In Game 2, Point Park turned a 7-4 deficit into a 10-7 lead with a couple of outbusts in the middle innings. Trailing 7-4, the Pioneers got four runs with two outs in the fourth to take the lead for good. Point Park took advantage of three walks and an error in the inning, and it was Marticorena who delivered the big blow, a deep double down the right-field line that scored three runs.
In the fifth, Tom Pasinski belted a two-run homer -- the first of his Point Park career -- to make it 10-7. Martin Methodist got the first two runners aboard in the bottom of the seventh, and that's when Point Park starting pitcher Ryan Loutsenhizer exited the game.
Tullio came on in relief, and although he walked the first batter he faced, Tullio picked up his second save of the day. With the bases loaded an no outs, Tullio induced a 5-4-3 double play then a groud out to second to end the game.
Marticorena, a sophomore from Miami, Fla., was 3 for 4 with three RBIs in Game 2. He is a right fielder who transferred from NAIA St. Thomas (FL) Univ. and was the Florida 6A Player of the Year as a senior in high school. He batted fifth in the Point Park lineup both games Friday.
Lee Bodnar, a senior third baseman who hits third for the Pioneers, was 2 for 4 with two RBIs in Game 2. Marlon Leyva, a native of Miami, Fla., and a transfer from St. Thomas (FL), was 3 for 4 with an RBI, and he was the DH both games.
Point Park scored three times in the first inning for Game 2. Tom Birko led off with a double and that was followed by an RBI single from Bodnar and RBI doubles by Marticorena and Leyva. Bodnar added a run-scoring single in the second for a 4-3 lead.
Martin Methodist had stung Loutsenhizer for three runs on two hits and an error in the first inning. Then the Red Hawks' No. 3 hitter Rob Holley smashed a three-run homer in the bottom of the second for a 6-4 lead. Holley added an RBI double in the third for a 7-4 lead, but Loutsenhizer kept things there until his team rallied.
Saturday's games at Cumberland (TN) are rematch of the 1998 NAIA World Series matchup between the teams. Point Park has been to 10 NAIA World Series to rank tied for fifth all-time. Cumberland has been to 11 NAIA World Series.