MARION, N.C.--After an 8:00 a.m. first pitch, both teams struggled with the bats with a combined nine hits. Point Park's Ed Pfluger hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth to break a 1-1 tie and give the Pioneers a 2-1 win.
Cumberland starter Conner Dunnam pitched well for the Phoenix tossing four innings only allowing four runners to reach base, two via the walk and two base hits. He punched out three and didn't allow a run. Dunnam was replaced by left Jordan Burdette who picked up where Dunnam left off. Burdette threw three innings giving up just one hit, that came around to score an unearned run, and struck out three. Brad Smith picked up the loss giving up one home run in the eighth inning.
The top three batters in Cumberland's lineup picked up four of the team's five hits. Andrew Martinez roped a triple in the sixth and came in for the lone Cumberland run. Joey Fregosi picked up two base knocks and an RBI. Pablo Custodio and Isidro Velez had the other two hits for the Phoenix.
This was the first game of the season for the Pioneers. Starter Marco Quintanar pitched five innings for the no-decision, only allowing one hit and striking out seven batters. Reliever Ruben Ramirez picked up the win throwing the final three innings. He gave up one run on four hits and two strikeouts.
Left fielder Ed Pfluger provided all the damage for the Pioneers posting three hits of the team's four and scored both runs.
The first five innings was a back-and-forth pitching dual as both teams struggled to get on base. Finally in the sixth, the Pioneers broke through after Pfluger hit a single. Burdette threw away a pickoff allowing Pfluger to get around to third base before being knocked in.
Cumberland tied it after Martinez roped a triple into the right-field corner. Fregosi drove him in with a single to knot the game at 1-1.
In extras, Pfluger provided the Pioneers with the game-winning run with a home run. Cumberland had a chance in the bottom half of the inning, but failed to score.
Cumberland will take on Midway College this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.