BECKLEY, W.Va. – The WVU Tech baseball team was swept in double-header action by NAIA powerhouse and sixth-ranked Point Park University this afternoon. The Pioneers pitched a shutout performance against the Golden Bears in game one’s 9-0 victory and narrowly edged out the Blue and Gold’s late comeback rally to hold off the Golden Bears for the 7-5 victory in game two.
In game one, skipper Lawrence Nesselrodt sent Craig Johnson
to the helm. Johnson went four innings surrendering seven runs (six earned, one unearned) on five hits while striking out two Pioneers. The Pioneers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning when right fielder Don McDuffee tripled to the corner in deep right field plating Tom Pasinski and Chaz Russo.
The Pioneers scored again in the top of the fourth inning when Johnson gave up a double to Pasinski who scored on a single by Russo three pitches later. After Russo was thrown out on a fielder choice later in the inning, Pioneer third baseman Jonathan Tasis scored to make the Pioneer lead 4-0.
The Green and Black added one more run in the fifth inning off two walks and then an erred throw that ended Johnson’s day sending transfer Zeke Grissinger
in on relief. Grissinger ended the inning after conceding two runs charged to Johnson. After Pioneer starting pitcher and eventual winner Manny Perdomo pitched his fifth consecutive shutout inning, the Pioneers added two insurance runs in the top of the sixth to seal the 9-0 victory. WVU Tech’s Johnson was credited with the loss.
First baseman Zach Sizemore
led the Golden Bears on offense with two hits on three plate appearances.
The second game of the twin bill also landed in favor of the Pioneers from Point Park. This time, Nesselrodt sent freshman Josh Smetana
to the mound. Both teams started the contest off with a scoreless first inning before Point Park opened the slugfest with a three run second inning. Smetana surrendered a one-out walk to Pioneer catcher Tyler Cattapan. Cattapan advanced to third on a double by Pasinski. The next batter dropped a bunt down the third baseline that Smetana mishandled then over threw Sizemore at first base that plated both Cattapan and Pasinski for the 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, McDuffee singled down the third baseline to score Tasis for the third run of the inning.
The Golden Bears struck back in the bottom of the inning when third baseman Raul Torres
smacked a double to the left-center gap scoring Grant Williams
. Williams walked in his previous at bat. After a scoreless third, both teams put more runs across the plate during the fourth and fifth innings. Point Park, who led 7-4 after five innings of work, went scoreless in the top of the sixth.
The Golden Bears rallied in the bottom of the sixth to score one run before loading the bases with two outs in the inning. The rally was halted on a wild pitch that, by luck, bounced off the back stop and right back to the plate catching center fielder Kevin Bocock
in a rundown between third and home. After a game of catch back and forth between fielders, Bocock was tagged out in a 2-6-2-5-2-6 sequence to end the inning.
The sixth-ranked Point Park defeated the Golden Bears 7-5 improving to 2-2 on the season while the Blue and Gold dropped to 2-9. Smetana was credited with the loss while Pioneer Austin Pressly was credited with the win and Michael Cetta the save.
The Golden Bears return to action on Saturday, March 2 when they host Bluefield State College in the first game of a two-game weekend series at Douglas Epling Field in East Bank. For up-to-date information on this series and other WVU Tech Athletics, visit http://www.GoldenBearAthletics.com.
-Courtesy of WVU Tech Sports Information