Feb. 28, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (4-3) fell to Ohio State (6-2), 6-2, in the first game of the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C.
Greg Greve (2-0, 2.08 ERA) earned the winning decision for the Buckeyes and struck out nine batters in six innings while allowing just one base hit. Matt Wotherspoon (SR/Mountain Top, Pa.) (2-1, 3.63 ERA) was tagged with his first loss of the season after allowing five runs on eight hits in a seven-inning outing.
"Matt pitched fairly well today but got off to a bumpy start," head coach Joe Jordano said. "However, he really settled in and did a great job for us by giving us opportunities to get back into the game. We had opportunities from the sixth to ninth innings with some of our RBI guys at the plate and with runners in scoring position, but we could not get the big hit. We'll be back tomorrow against a very good East Carolina team. We have to keep grinding."
Troy Kuhn opened the game with a leadoff single up the middle and quickly scored after Jacob Bosiokovic tripled down the left field line in the next at-bat, 1-0. The next batter, Pat Porter, then doubled to right field, giving Ohio State an early two-run lead, 2-0.
Greve grooved past the Panthers' lineup through the first four frames by registering six strikeouts and permitting just two base runners on an infield error and a fielder's choice. Wotherspoon, however, matched Greve's scoreless stretch with three perfect innings through the second and fourth to keep the game within reach at a two-run deficit.
The Buckeyes manufactured an additional two runs in the top of the fifth inning. Craig Nennig and Tim Wetzel led off the at-bat with back-to-back singles and later moved into scoring position after they each tagged up on a fly ball to center field. Nennig came across home plate on an infield error and Wetzel then scored on a sacrifice fly to push Ohio State's lead to four, 4-0.
In the top half of the seventh, the Buckeyes' advantage rose to five when Kuhn delivered a two-out solo home run to right center field. Ohio State added another run in the eighth after Zach Ratcliff singled to left to bring across Porter from second base, 6-0.
Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.) reached on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the eighth and snagged second and third base on consecutive two-out wild pitches. Casey Roche (SR/Downingtown, Pa.) then brought home Pitt's first run of the game when he singled to short to allow Vranka to score from third, 6-1.
The Panthers continued their streak at the dish in the ninth with Jordan Frabasilio (JR/Chandler, Ariz.) leading off with a double to right center. Matt Johnson (JR/Plano, Texas) followed by driving in the team's second run of the game with a single to the right side, giving the ball game a 6-2 score.
Pitt returns to action tomorrow afternoon against East Carolina at 3 p.m. in the second game of the Keith LeClair Classic. Joseph Harvey (JR/Audobon, Pa.) is expected to make his first career start on the mound for the Panthers.