March 10, 2013
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (9-4) used 18 hits and solid pitching to take a 16-1 victory over Youngstown State (3-15) in the final game of the Panther Classic I this evening at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex.
In his first start of the year, Alex Caravella (SR/Harrington Park, N.J.) (1-0) pitched six scoreless innings, striking out four to pick up the win. Robert Switka (0-3) took the loss for Youngstown State.
The Panthers struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Eric Hess (SO/Erie, Pa.) drew a walk and then stole second to get into scoring position. A Casey Roche (JR/Downingtown, Pa.) single found a seem past the second baseman into right to move Hess to third. Boo Vazquez (SO, Youngstown, Ohio) was able to bring Hess home on a sac fly to deep center giving Pitt a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the third Pitt added to its lead. After Stephen Vranka (JR/Monroeville, Pa.) and Hess singled putting runners on the corners, Vranka was brought home on a balk call to push the lead to 2-0.
The 2-0 cushion was all that Caravella needed as he cruised through the Penguin lineup in his six innings of work allowing a mere two hits.
The Panthers broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning as they scored five runs while batting around. Ronald Sucre (SR/Miami, Fla.) started the innings getting hit by a pitch. Evan Oswald (SR/Butler, Pa.) followed by doubling into left center field and moving AJ Lardo (FR/Baltimore, Md.), who pinch ran for Sucre, to third. Vranka came to the plate and brought the pair home with a rocket triple into left centerfield to chase YSU’s Erik Okleson from the game. Pat Shedlock did not fare much better than Okleson for the Penguins in the sixth. After walking Hess to begin his outing, Roche smashed his fifth home run of the season and second of the day way over the wall in left field to extend the lead to 7-0.
Pitt added seven more in the bottom of the seventh again batting around. Bennette Hill (FR/Olive Branch, Miss.) and Oswald each had clutch two-RBI doubles in the frame while Vazquez, Dylan Wolsonovic (FR/Ford City, Pa.) and Billy Lipari (FR/Omaha, Neb.) also added RBIs to run the Pitt advantage to 14-0.
After YSU added its lone run in the top of the eighth, Pitt scored two more in the bottom of the frame as Wolsonovic came up with the bases loaded and delivered a roped single into left that scored a pair and gave the Panthers a 16-1 lead.
Jon Danielczyk (SR/Erie, Pa.) came in to wrap things up in the bottom of the ninth and got the Penguins out 1-2-3 to close the door on the game and on the Panther Classic I.
During the tournament, Pitt went 4-0 and outscored its opponents by a 40-11 margin.
The Panthers will be back in action on Tuesday, March 12, when they welcome longtime rival West Virginia to Cost Field for a 3 p.m. contest.