March 12, 2013
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (9-5) dropped an 8-7 contest to West Virginia (7-9) this afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex.
“It’s a disappointing day,” said head coach Joe Jordano. “I thought we did some good things but it wasn’t about playing West Virginia it was about playing another opponent. We concentrate on some fundamental things – on the mound, at the plate, on the bases, defensively – and my focus is to continue to work on those. Those are the things that, if we are efficient, will make us a better team and we failed at some of those things today but we’re going to get back at it tomorrow and prepare for the rest of this week. ”
Pascal Paul (1-3) picked up the win for WVU while J.R. Leonardi (JR/Pittsburgh, Pa.) (1-2) took the loss for Pitt.
After WVU struck first in the top of the second, Sam Parente (SR/Pittston, Pa.) tied the game when he blasted his first-career homer, an opposite field shot to deep right field.
The Mountaineers added three in the top of the third with a home run of their own to answer the Parente blast and retake the lead at 4-1.
Luke Novosol (JR/Irwin, Pa.) came in for Pitt in the top of the fourth and was able to pitch around a leadoff walk. Pitt loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth but was only able to get a lone run. Elvin Soto (SO/New York, N.Y.) started the inning with a single to right. Steven Shelinsky Jr. (JR/Yardley, Pa.) followed up with a rope single into center. Evan Oswald (SR/Butler, Pa.) then singled to short to load the bases with no one out. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Oswald was called for interference on a hard slide into second base trying to break up a double play which, after the umps ruling, ended in a pair of outs and no runners advancing. Soto was able to score when the WVU catcher fired a pickoff attempt into left field but the Pitt could do no more damage and went to the fifth trailing 4-2.
West Virginia added a pair in the top of the fifth but Pitt got a run back in the bottom of the sixth when Soto smoked a moonshot to deep right field for a solo homerun to cut the lead to 6-3.
The Mountaineers pushed their lead to 7-3 in the top of the eighth before the Panthers mounted a rally in the bottom of the frame. Boo Vazquez (SO/Youngstown, Ohio) started off the inning with a single to second base. Parente was hit by the next pitch to put runners on first and second with no out. After WVU got an out, Jordano went to his bench and brought in John Peluso (SR/Bethlehem, Pa.) to pinch hit and A.J. Lardo (FR/Baltimore, Md.) to pinch run. The move paid off as Peluso roped a double down the right field line to bring Vazquez home. Oswald then came to the plate and snuck a single to the shortstop to bring home Lardo and advance Peluso 90 feet to third prompting a WVU call to the pen. Paul, the new pitcher, walked two of his first three batters faced to walk in a run and cut the lead to one. Casey Roche (JR/Downingtown, Pa.) came to the plate and roped a ball to short to score Oswald and tie the game. The Panthers left the bases loaded when Mountaineers secondbaseman Taylor Munden ranged to his left made a nice play to get the final out of the inning at first.
In the top of the ninth, West Virginia struck again and Pitt could not respond allowing WVU to come away with the 8-7 victory.
Pitt will be back in action on Friday, March 15, when they host Niagara at 3 p.m. in the Panther Classic II at Cost Field.