March 11, 2014
GREENVILLE, S.C. – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (6-7, 0-0 ACC) defeated Presbyterian (7-8-1, 0-0 Big South), 12-3, Tuesday night at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. The Panthers were powered by the bats of Casey Roche (SR/Downingtown, Pa.) and Steven Shelinsky, Jr. (SR/Furlong, Pa.), who combined for six hits and nine RBI in the contest.
Jon Danielczyk (SR/Erie, Pa.) (1-0, 2.31 ERA) picked up his first win of the season after recording a career-high five strikeouts during three shutout frames out of the bullpen. Brian Kehner (0-3, 8.67 ERA) was tagged with loss for the Blue Hose, allowing eight runs on 12 hits through four innings of work.
Pitt manufactured its most impressive inning of the season to start off the game in the top of the first. Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.) led off the frame with an infield single and was followed by a liner roped to center by Dylan Wolsonovich (SO/Ford City, Pa.). After Boo Vazquez (JR/Youngstown, Ohio) reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases, Roche ripped a two-bagger to left center field to drive home all three base runners, 3-0. Shelinsky, Jr. then towered a two-run home run deep over the Green Monster in left and off of an apartment building window across the street to give the Panthers a favorable 5-0 advantage in the early going.
Billy Motroni sparked Presbyterian’s response in the bottom of the first with a one-out single to left field. Brad Zebedis wore a pitch from Luke Curtis (JR/Philipsburg, Pa.) to put runners on first and second. After both Blue Hose base runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch, Brandon Paul plated Presbyterian’s first run of the game with an infield single to third base, 5-1.
Wolsonovich opened Pitt’s half of the second with a one-out walk and was followed by a single to right field by Vazquez. Shelinsky, Jr. then pushed the Panthers’ lead to six when he smoked an RBI single to right field two batters later. Wolsonovich scored easily on the play and a fielding error by Paul permitted Vazquez to come across the plate as an unearned run, 7-1.
Manny Pazos (FR/Miami, Fla.) snapped his eight-game hitless streak with a screaming single to center field in the third. Vranka recorded his second base knock of the contest when he sent a Kehner delivery back up the middle and Wolsonovich reached on a hit by pitch in the next at-bat. Despite the two-out rally that put runners at each base, Pitt could not manufacture as runs as Kehner forced Vazquez into a pop out to short to escape the inning unharmed.
The Panthers continued their offensive onslaught in the top of the fourth inning. Jordan Frabasilio (JR/Chandler, Ariz.), after making a beautiful diving play at the corner in the third frame, produced a two-out double off the center field wall. A.J. Lardo (SO/Baltimore, Md.) then brought Frabasilio home from second with an RBI single up the middle that deflected off of Kehner’s glove, marking Pitt’s fifth two-out hit of the game and giving the Panthers an 8-1 lead.
Paul led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to center and Jacob Midkiff added a one-out single through the right side to put runners on the corners for the Blue Hose. Curtis struck out Derek Long to get the second out but plunked his second batter of the game with Jay Lizanich at the plate. However, with two outs and the bases loaded, Curtis buckled down for his fourth strikeout against Tyler Weyenberg, ensuring his third straight shutout frame.
In the top of the seventh, Vranka made his way to first base by beating out an infield single with two down in the inning. Wolsonovich and Vazquez then reached on back-to-back infield errors, allowing Vranka to score on an errant throw, 9-1. Roche then drove in a pair with a double down the left field line and Shelinsky, Jr. added his third hit of the game with a two-bagger to the warning track in center field to plate Roche from second, making it a 12-1 ball game.
Danielczyk, who had registered consecutive innings of no-hit relief in the fifth and sixth innings, did not surrender his first hit of the game until the bottom of the seventh when Lizanich singled to right field.
P.J. DeMeo (FR/Sewickley, Pa.) made his first career plate appearance for Pitt in the top of the eighth, roping a line drive through the right side of the infield for a single. Matt Pidich (FR/Aberdeen, N.J.) also made his Panthers debut when he came on in relief of Danielczyk in the home half of the inning.
Pidich hit Paul with a pitch to lead off the bottom of the eighth and walked Weston Jackson in the next at-bat. Michael Trebendis, who entered the game as a pinch hitter for Midkiff, moved Paul and Jackson each into scoring position on a groundball out to the right side. Long then slapped home both Presbyterian base runners to cut the deficit to nine, 12-3.
Adam Dian (JR/Gibsonia, Pa.) made his third appearance of the year in the bottom of the ninth, recording two strikeouts while allowing only one base hit.
Pitt returns to action tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. when it closes its two-game series with Presbyterian in Clinton, S.C. Freshman hurler T.J. Zeuch (FR/Mason, Ohio) is expected to take the mount for the Panthers.