ShareThis Page

Point Park advances in NAIA World Series

| Friday, May 25, 2012, 7:50 p.m.

Pitcher Sean Clark struggled with his control and hit five College of Idaho batters.

The rest of the Point Park baseball team didn't have much trouble hitting the Coyotes' pitchers.

Seventh-seeded Point Park used a five-run fifth inning Friday to secure a 7-3 victory in the opening round of the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.

The decisive frame came after Clark hit three batters — he plunked five in all — and featured RBI singles from third baseman Lee Bodnar (Chartiers Valley), catcher Ossie Alfonzo and center fielder Tom Pasinski, the West Mifflin product's a two-run shot up the middle.

First baseman Steve Dujka also put down a suicide squeeze bunt during the rally.

“We knew Clark was going to settle down and give us an opportunity to win the game,” Point Park coach Loren Torres said. “We didn't panic, didn't press and played our game.”

Alfonzo, right fielder Don McDuffee and shortstop Dillon Sauers (South Fayette) had two hits apiece for Point Park, which plays No. 2 seed Lee at 6 p.m. today. No. 10 College of Idaho dropped into the loser's bracket of the 10-team, double-elimination tournament.

Point Park (52-9) set a school record for wins, surpassing the 1986 team that went 51-8 and finished third in the NAIA World Series.

“That was one of our goals,” Alfonzo said of the single-season record. “Now that we have that first goal, we just have to go for another win (today).”

College of Idaho took a 3-0 lead in the third inning when Zachary Fabricius singled through the right side for a run, and Izaac Garsez doubled to deep left center past a diving Pasinski to score Brett Ward. Tanner Hodges' sacrifice fly gave the Coyotes a third run.

The Pioneers got two runs back when Alfonzo sneaked a bases-loaded single through the right side to score McDuffee and Sauers.

Then, Point Park sent nine men to the plate in the fifth and never trailed again, as Clark worked seven-plus innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked one, resulting in a high school-like pitch count of 121. Horacio Acosta recorded the final six outs.

According to Torres, Clark's brief control lapses stemmed from a sidearm fastball that looked better in the bullpen than on the mound.

“I don't know if you want to call it effective wildness today, but I'd like to give myself the benefit of the doubt,” said Clark, who improved to 8-0 this season. “Me and Ossie worked well together. We wanted to come inside a lot today, and sometimes I just came in a little too far.”

Jason Mackey is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.