PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University baseball is back on top of the conference's regular season standings. The Pioneers completed a four-game series sweep of Brescia (Ky.) University on Sunday with wins of 5-2 and 8-1 in a doubleheader and thus have won the River States Conference baseball regular-season championship. This weekend marked the final games of the regular season for all teams.
Point Park (35-17, 26-6 RSC) has now won four regular-season titles in its five years in the conference. The Pioneers have been on top of the standings in 2013, 2014, 2015 and now 2017. Point Park will be the No. 1 seed in next weekend's RSC Baseball Tournament, a six-team, double-elimination event taking place May 5-9 at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Yuri Sucart won Sunday's opener with a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th for the 5-2 victory. The game began on Saturday but was suspended when the rains came and Brescia holding a 2-0 lead through three innings. So the teams picked up at that point on Sunday.
Point Park tied the score at 2-2 after RBI singles from Logan Linder in the fourth and Chris Hernandez in the fifh. The Pioneers and Bearcats remained tied for the next five innings in a contest that was scheduled for seven innings. Neither team was able to get the key hit until Sucart smashed a homer to left field with two men on and one out in the 10th.
Point Park's Addison Domingo threw seven shut-out innings of relief in the extra-inning win. He took the mound to begin things on Sunday, and he took it the rest of the way pitching innings four through 10. He allowed five hits, struck out six and walked three, and he earned the win to improve to 10-3 on the year (9-1 RSC).
Domingo also had three hits the game, and he started the game at second base. The Pioneers had 14 hits compared to nine for Brescia, and each team left 13 men on base. Chris Hernandez also tallied three hits, and Linder and Edberg Dominguez had two hits each.
In the second game, the Pioneers jumped on Brescia early with four runs in the first and then two more in the second. It was the top two hitters in the Pioneers' order who ignited things as lead-off man Stefan Mrkonja was 1 for 2 with two RBIs, two runs and two walks, and No. 2 hitter Richard Perez went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
Mrkonja and Perez both reached base in the first to start things off. Danny Sanchez later had the big hit of the inning, a two-run single. Sanchez was 2 for 3 in the game. In the second inning, Mrkonja had an RBI double, and Perez followed with an RBI single.
Logan Linder (3-2) earned the victory with 5.1 innings as the Pioneers' starter in game two. Linder shutout Brescia on three hits during his outing. He tallied five strikeouts versus no walks. Keenan Smith (0.2 IP) and Anthony Garofalo (1.0 IP) pitched the rest of the way for Point Park.
Point Park needed the four-game sweep of Brescia to win first place in the regular season. The Pioneers got it done and at 26-6 RSC, they finished 1.0 game ahead of No. 25 IU Southeast (42-11, 25-7 RSC) and 1.5 games clear of Rio Grande (33-17-1, 24-7-1 RSC).
As the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament, the Pioneers will face No. 6 seed Brescia in the first round. The tournament begins May 5. Check back at PointParkSports.com for official news about tournament scheduling and a release of the bracket.
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