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Black’s gem helps IUP shutout Point Loma in DII World Series

CARY, NC – IUP baseball scored the only run of the game in the first inning and pulled off a great start Jake Black and got a lockdown in the ninth inning of Bryce Devan during a 1-0 win against Point Loma, eliminating the Sea Lions from the DII College World Series.

IUP moves to 40-17 on the season, avoids elimination in the DII College World Series for the second time and advances to the national semifinals on June 6 against defending champion Angelo State. Black posted the longest outing of his short IUP career, throwing a two-hit gem over eight innings.

IUP got some slick defensive plays throughout, nothing bigger than an extended grab Harrison Pontoli to end the eighth inning. It was all part of Black’s season-saving start on the mound for the Crimson Hawks, which spanned eight scoreless innings and 100 pitches.

In a rematch last Saturday (June 1), the Crimson Hawks this time found themselves on the winning side of a low-scoring pitching battle against the Sea Lions.

After two extended at-bats to start the game, the Crimson Hawks struck first in their first trip to the plate, which turned out to be the only run of the afternoon. Elijah Dunn threw a ball to left field, scoring Pontoli for a quick 1-0 lead before the Crimson Hawks closed the door from there.

IUP had six hits that day and held Point Loma to three hits. Devan recorded a second straight save for IUP, notching his sixth consecutive relief appearance (eight innings) in a high-leverage situation. Devan’s last three appearances consisted of 3.2 innings of shutout relief in the Super Regional championship game against Seton Hill and ninth-inning saves in the DII College World Series against top-ranked Central Missouri and Point Loma.

On the mound, Black retired PLNU to end the second inning, setting the tone for his start. Ricardo Aponte hit a one-out double in the third and stranded on second base after consecutive outs.

Black continued to roll on the mound and did not allow a Point Loma hit until the fifth. Black worked ahead in the count most of the day, keeping Point Loma’s lineup off balance with 14 flyball outs.

Au’sean Owens drew a walk to start the IUP half of the fifth, scoring second on a wild pitch. Ray Cebulski got out of trouble for Point Loma with three straight outs, keeping Owens from getting past third.

Cebulski himself had an excellent start, throwing seven innings with nine strikeouts.

Pontoli moved to the left on a hard-hit ball and finished eighth before Devan wrapped up the win.

Next one

IUP returns to action on Thursday, June 6 at 11 a.m. against Angelo State

To follow

For coverage of the IUP baseball program, follow the Crimson Hawks on X (Twitter) and Instagram @IUPBaseball and online at IUPathletics.com.


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