Feb. 22, 2014
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (4-1) defeated USC-Upstate (3-4), 5-2, Saturday afternoon at Harley Park in Spartanburg, S.C.
Rhys Aldenhoven (SR/Victoria, Australia) (1-0, 3.72 ERA) picked up the win after allowing just two earned runs in six innings of work and Hobie Harris (JR/McKinney, Texas) earned his first career save with the Panthers by striking out five in a three-inning, shutout relief outing. David Roseboom received the losing decision for the Spartans despite three of his four runs being unearned.
“Rhys and Hobie offered a solid performance for us on the mound today,” head coach Joe Jordano said. “USC-Upstate is a very good team and had another tough, senior left-handed starter on the mound. We manufactured a few runs and added more later on in the game, but more importantly, we played clean baseball. We got better today and we need to refocus and finish with a good game tomorrow.”
Roseboom cruised quickly through Pitt’s lineup in the first and second innings, sitting down the heart of the order — Casey Roche (SR/Downingtown, Pa.), Steven Shelinsky, Jr. (SR/Furlong, Pa.) and Jordan Frabasilio (JR/Chandler, Ariz.) — on three consecutive strikeouts. However, Matt Johnson (JR/Plano, Texas) was the first to get on the Spartans’ southpaw in the top of the second when he delivered a one-out double to right center field. Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.) then reached on an infield error that allowed Johnson to score from second, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Aldenhoven settled into a groove through the first three frames, as seven of the first 10 outs of the game were on groundball outs. Aldenhoven struck out Tyler Lesch to open the home half of the fourth, making it four consecutive innings of retiring USC-Upstate’s first batter. The senior hurler escaped a one-on and two-out situation when Johnson snagged the final out of the inning by bringing down a sharp liner to the left side, preserving Pitt’s one-run advantage.
In the top of the fifth, Boo Vazquez (JR/Youngstown, Ohio) recorded a one-out, stand-up double off the center field wall and tagged up on a Roche fly ball to move to third base. Shelinsky, Jr. walked to put runners on the corners and Frabasilio singled to right center to knock in Vazquez and to add one more run to the Panthers’ lead, 2-0.
After Drew Fisher walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch to open the bottom of the sixth, Justin Allen produced an RBI single up the middle to bring across the Spartans’ first run of the game, 2-1. Erik Samples added a single to right field but Roche and Dylan Wolsonovich (SO/Ford City, Pa.) connected on a relay to Manny Pazos (FR/Miami, Fla.) that nailed Allen out at the plate. Aldenhoven was then able to protect Pitt’s lead by getting Lesch to strike out looking to end the inning.
Hess singled to left center and Pazos reached on an error by the first baseman to open the Panthers’ half of the sixth. With no outs and runners on first and third, Wolsonovich hit an RBI single to send home Hess and to make it a 3-1 ball game. Pazos was caught stealing at third, but Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.) found his way to first on an infield error, putting runners on the corners once more. Wolsonovich scored on a Vazquez fielder’s choice to second base, 4-1.
Luke Weber walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth and scored on an RBI double to left center hit by Zach Krider, 4-2. Krider advanced to third on a wild pitch with nobody out, but Aldenhoven managed his way out of trouble by striking out Stephen Dowling, Fisher and Daniel Seeba in order to end the inning.
In the top half of the final frame, Roche reached on a hit by pitch and was later driven in by Nick Yarnall (FR/Landisville, Pa.) on a pinch-hit RBI double down the right field line to put the Panthers ahead by three runs, 5-2.
Harris struck out the side in the ninth to secure Pitt's fourth victory of the season.
The Panthers return to action tomorrow afternoon at 12 p.m. against Fordham in the final game of the USC-Upstate Tournament.
For more information on Pitt baseball, follow the media relations Twitter account at @PittBaseballACC and the coaching staff at @PITTBASEBALL.