ShareThis Page

Point Park returns to NAIA tourney

| Thursday, May 10, 2012, 1:19 a.m.
Point Park catcher Ossie Alfonso and manager/coach Loren Torres during the game against West Viriginia Tech at Greentree Park on Tuesday March 27, 2012.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Point Park catcher Ossie Alfonso and manager/coach Loren Torres during the game against West Viriginia Tech at Greentree Park on Tuesday March 27, 2012. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review

As the No. 12 Point Park baseball team begins its quest for the NAIA World Series, it has one goal in mind: 11.

The Pioneers aim to add to their 10 all-time NAIA World Series appearances, which ranks fifth all time. Point Park's last appearance was in 1998.

The Pioneers, who received an at-large bid, open the Marion (Ind.) bracket as the second seed and face third-seeded Taylor (Ind.) at 4 p.m. today at Indiana Wesleyan's Wildcat Field.

“It has been our goal from the beginning of the year: making the World Series and seeing how far we can go,” said coach Loren Torres, who is in his third season. “We're expecting every guy in the lineup to show up and have a big game.”

Third baseman Lee Bodnar (Chartiers Valley) is hitting .320 and leads the team with 44 RBI, and left fielder Rob Novia and second baseman Tom Birko have tallied 39 RBI apiece and are batting .343 and .329, respectively.

Point Park (48-9, 11-0 AMC), however, will look to its pitchers for the biggest impact, with right-handed starter Derek Peluso carrying a 2.27 ERA and fellow righty Sean Clark a 2.55 ERA.

“We're going to go as far as our pitching takes us, and this tour will be no different,” Torres said.

After last week's Unaffiliated Tournament in Kingston, N.C., where Point Park advanced to the final series but fell to Asbury (Ky.), Torres said the Pioneers will have to improve on hitting with runners in scoring position if they hope to reach their World Series goal.

“We're very excited to be here,” Torres said. “It's always a big opportunity when you're playing the first round.”

Including Point Park, 46 teams will participate in the NAIA tournament, which is broken down into nine, five-team brackets — Lewis-Clark State received an automatic bid as World Series host.

The nine bracket winners travel to Lewiston, Idaho, for the World Series from May 25 through June 1.

Meredith Qualls is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5637.

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.