Feb. 19, 2012
PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh baseball team lost 12-7 to Indiana on Sunday afternoon, leaving them with a 1-3 record coming out of the Big East/Big Ten Challenge in Florida. The team's offense started the season off with a bang, scoring 32 runs in the four games.
After trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, sophomore Stephen Vranka singled down the right field line. Sophomore Casey Roche then hit an RBI triple, and later crossed home plate after an error by the Hoosiers’ second baseman, making it a 2-1 game in the Panthers’ favor.
However, the Hoosiers responded almost immediately, putting together a seven-run inning in the top of the second, capitalizing on errors made by Pitt’s defense, in addition to drawing several walks and hitting a handful of extra-base hits.
Like they did all weekend, the Panthers’ offense kept them in the game. Trailing 9-2 in the third inning, they posted back-to-back two-run frames, highlighted by RBI singles from Boo Vazquez and Anthony Defabio.
But, that would be as close as Pitt would get as it was outscored 3-1 in the final five innings.
Redshirt freshman Luke Curtis took the loss for the Panthers in his first appearance after missing all of 2011 with an injury. Alex Caravella provided 4 2/3 innings of relief, allowing two runs, and Tanner Wilt pitched another perfect inning of relief two days after recording his first career save.
Offensive standouts for the Panthers on the day were Roche and Defabio. Roche was 1-4 against the Hoosiers with two runs scored and two RBI. DeFabio went 3-4 with 2 RBI.
DeFabio was outstanding at the plate all weekend, batting .600 (9 for 15) with two walks, four RBI and six runs scored in four games. Rick Devereaux also started off the season on a hot streak, batting .500 with 11 RBI in 18 at-bats. He also hit the team’s first home run of the season, a two-run blast in the first inning against Northwestern.
Saturday’s Recap: Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern
The Panthers lost 12-11 to the Northwestern Wildcats Saturday evening in an extra innings showdown in Clearwater, Fla. Northwestern scored 12 runs on 16 hits, compared to Pitt’s 11 runs on 12 hits.
For the Panthers, several players stood out with regards to their offensive output. Vranka went 2-6 with two runs scored and an RBI. Devereaux had four RBI on three base hits, and freshman catcher Elvin Soto went 2 for 4 on the day with two RBI.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Ethan Mildren made his first appearance of the 2012 season, going 6.1 innings, allowing six earned runs on 10 hits. Redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher J.R. Leonardi put together an impressive outing Saturday, allowing just one earned run with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief.
Head coach Joe Jordano reflects on the weekend
“There is no question that we expected better results on our opening weekend. We played some very good baseball at times but had three innings in which we gave up 17 runs. That was the difference between going 3-1 or 1-3. This is a work in progress, and we will go back to work on Tuesday to prepare for next weekend, and we will continue to stress the importance of playing complete games.”