Feb. 18, 2012
DUNEDIN, Fla.— Pitt sophomore Derik Wilson drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning as the Panther baseball team overcame a three-run deficit to top Michigan, 9-8, on Friday night.
Head coach Joe Jordano has now won 400 games with the Panthers, and currently sits second all-time in wins at the University. The milestone victory came in the second game of the day for Pitt at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge.
"This was a work day for us. We played two solid teams today and felt we did a very solid job,” Jordano said. “We left the hotel at 10 a.m. this morning and got back at 1:30am. We were the only team to play two games today. We showed a toughness that I loved. We will enjoy it for a few hours then back to work tomorrow. Our team showed a ton of heart tonight. It was a great team win against Michigan and a memorable 400th win."
The Panthers found momentum in the ninth inning. With one out and trailing 8-5, senior designated hitter Anthony Defabio walked, and advanced to second after a base hit from sophomore right fielder Casey Roche. A wild pitch allowed the two base runners to advance, putting them in scoring position. Devereaux singled up the middle to score two and close the gap to 8-7.
Freshman left fielder Boo Vasquez singled, moving Devereaux to second base. A sacrifice fly by Soto drove in freshman Eric Hess, who pinch ran for Devereaux, later in the inning to tie the game at 8-8. That set the stage for Wilson to win the game for the Panthers.
With a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jordano called the bullpen for freshman right-handed pitcher Tanner Wilt. Wilt, in his first collegiate appearance, pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts to record his first career save.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Luke Novosel (1-0) picked up the win against the Wolverines after having pitched two and two-thirds innings of relief, recording three strikeouts and allowing no runs.
Freshman catcher Elvin Soto started off the Panther offense in the second inning with a double to right-center that scored two runs. After the Panthers established a 3-0 lead behind sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Wotherspoon, the Michigan Wolverines responded with back-to-back two-run innings in the third and fourth innings, making it a 4-3 game favoring the Wolverines.
Senior first baseman Rick Devereaux brought the game back toa 4-4 score after an RBI-single to center field. Devereaux went 3-5 with four RBI on the night, continuing the success he established earlier in the afternoon against the Iowa Hawkeyes—a game in which he had two hits and two RBI.
A walk by Michigan’s Coley Crank and a double down the left field line by John Lorenz gave the Wolverines a one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, the Wolverines scored three more runs, making the game seem almost out of the reach for the Panthers, as Michigan took the lead 8-4 heading into the seventh.
Entering the game as a pinch hitter in the top of the eighth inning, junior third baseman Ronald Sucre hit an RBI double down the right field line to make it an 8-5 game.
The Panthers are scheduled to face the Northwestern Wildcats Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. .in Clearwater, Fla. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Ethan Mildren will be on the mound for Pitt Mildren went 4-5 in 2011 with a 4.31 ERA as a freshman, and is set for his first appearance of the 2012 season.