Point Park U. advances in Unaffiliated Tournament, 2-0, over Talladega (Ala.)
May 3, 2012 at 4:45 p.m.
Nate Spohn (20) looks back a Talladega runner in Point Park's 2-0 win. Photo by Jon Birchok.
KINSTON, N.C. -- Nate Spohn tossed 8.2 scoreless innings, and Point Park University scraped across a couple of runs to beat Talladega (Ala.), 2-0, on Thursday afternoon at the Unaffiliated Baseball Tournament at Grainger Stadium.
The victory puts top seed Point Park (46-8) in the loser's bracket final Thursday at 6 p.m. versus No. 3 seed Indiana Southeast (27-28). Talladega (Ala.), the No. 2 seed, is eliminated from the tournament.
No. 6 seed Asbury (Ky.) (17-36) is the winner's bracket champion and is awaiting the Point Park-Indiana Southeast winner in the championship round on Friday at 2 p.m.
Spohn, a freshman left-hander from Greensburg, Pa., and Greensburg Salem High School, improved to 8-0 by turning in the clutch performance. He successfully worked out of a few jams. With the scored tied, 0-0, in the top of the sixth, he got out of a bases-loaded pickle with two consecutive strikeouts to keep the game scoreless.
Point Park did not have much offense, but it scratched out a run in the sixth and another in the seventh. The Pioneers got a runner to third with two outs in the sixth and took a 1-0 lead when Lee Bodnar's grounder to short went for an E6.
Point Park loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, and Dillon Sauers brought home a run with a squeeze bunt. The Pioneers missed an opportunity to add on, however, as they left three on base.
To set up the bases-loaded situation in the seventh, Steve Dujka and Tom Pasisnki both singled and Don McDuffee was hit by a pitch. Ossie Alfonzo had two of the Pioneers seven hits in the game.
But the 2-0 lead was enough for Spohn, who left the game with two outs in the top of the ninth after giving up a walk and a single. Closer Mike Tullio gave up another base hit to load the bases, but the next batter lined out to first base to end it.
Spohn's line ended up with no runs on five hits over 8.2 innings. He struck out five and walked two. Tullio, a senior right-hander from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., picked up his 13th save of the year, which puts him among the NAIA leaders.
The matchup with Indiana Southeast (27-28) at 6 p.m. on Thursday features two teams who are 2-1 in the tournament. Indiana Southeast earned the No. 3 seed in the event by winning the regular season championship in the KIAC.
The Grenadiers opened tourney play with an 8-3 win over Edward Waters (Fla.) and a 21-3 win over Talladega (Ala.). Indiana Southeast fell into the loser's bracket with Thursday morning's 10-1 loss to KIAC rival Asbury (Ky.) in the winner's bracket finals.