March 12, 2014
CLINTON, S.C. - The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (7-7, 1-2 ACC) defeated Presbyterian (7-9-1, 0-0 Big South), 10-9, in 11 innings Wednesday afternoon in Clinton, S.C., completing its first series sweep of the 2014 season. Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.), who drove in the game-winning run in the top of the 11th, highlighted the Panthers' victory with a 4-for-7 performance at the plate that featured one home run and a career-high six RBI.
Adam Dian (JR/Gibsonia, Pa.) (1-1, 4.76 ERA) received the winning decision after recovering from a blown save in the ninth with back-to-back shutout frames to finish the game. Trey Hayes (0-1, 8.59 ERA) took the loss for the Blue Hose, allowing just one run on five hits in a two-inning relief outing.
In the top of the first inning, Vranka jacked a solo home run, his second of the year, to deep left field to give Pitt an early 1-0 advantage.
During the home half of the second, Weston Jackson made his way to second base on a fielding error by Vranka in center field and advanced to third on a passed ball. When Jordan Frabasilio (JR/Chandler, Ariz.) threw home on an infield groundball to keep a running Jackson from scoring on the play, catcher Caleb Parry (FR/Riverside, Calif.) dropped the ball, allowing Presbyterian its first run of the game, 1-1. Jacob Midkiff then moved from first to third on consecutive passed balls and was knocked home by Brandon Martin on a sacrifice fly to center field, 2-1.
Frabasilio led off the top of the fourth inning with a hard-fought base on balls and A.J. Lardo (SO/Baltimore, Md.) followed with a one-out walk as well. Bennett Nalley then came on in relief of Michael Trebendis with two runners on base and proceeded to lead the bases by giving Matt Johnson (JR/Plano, Texas) the third free pass of the frame. Nick Yarnall (FR/Landisville, Pa.) roped a pinch-hit two-RBI single in the next at-bat to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead. Johnson and Yarnall each moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and Vranka tore the stitches off a Nalley offering for a bases-clearing double, 5-2.
The top half of the fifth began with a single to right field by Frabasilio and a walk by Lardo, his second of the game. Frabasilio was plated by a base hit through the left side by Johnson to make it a 6-2 ball game. Vranka added his third of the game two batters later when he cue-balled a bloop single into shallow left to score both runners, 8-2.
J.R. Leonardi (SR/Pittsburgh, Pa.) entered the game in relief of Jon Danielczyk (SR/Erie, Pa.) in the bottom of the fifth to make his 65th all-time appearance for Pitt (2010-present). Brandon Paul led off the inning with a single to left field an was nailed out at second base on a fielder's choice put in play by Jackson. Midkiff followed with a single up the middle to put two runners on and each Blue Hose base runner advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Leonardi then walked Martin to load the bases and Jay Lizanich wore a hit by pitch to plate one run, 8-3.
With one down and runners at each base, Tyler Weyenberg drove in Presbyterian's fourth run of the game with a groundball hit to Johnson at second base. Billy Motroni made it five runs for the Blue Hose when he poked a base knock to right field that brought across Martin, 8-5.
Presbyterian added a pair of runs in the home half of the sixth, beginning with a singles from Paul and Jackson. On Jackson's base hit to right field, Casey Roche (SR/Downingtown, Pa.) tried to catch Paul advancing to second base but both he and Jackson advanced to second to third base on an errant throw. The Blue Hose then pulled themselves within a run when Midkiff recorded a two-RBI double to left center field, 8-7.
Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.) pushed the Panthers' lead back to two when he homered to left, making it a 9-7 game.
The Presbyterian bats did not settle by the time the ninth inning rolled around. Martin slapped a 3-2 single past a diving Dylan Wolsonovich (SO/Ford City, Pa.) and Weyenberg registered a one-out, stand-up double to put runners at second and third for the Blue Hose. During Nate Chong's pinch-hit at-bat, Martin scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to one with a 9-8 score. Chong then smoked an RBI single to right field to knot the game at 9-9, ultimately leading the contest into extra innings.
Pitt's turn at the plate in the 11th started with a single through the right side by Hess and Johnson ripped a Hayes delivery to left field to put Panthers at first and second base. With two outs in the inning, Vranka battled through a 10-pitch at-bat and grounded a ball down the third base line that deflected off the bag for a timely RBI, 10-9.
Dian surrendered a 2-2 single to left to Martin to open the home half of 11th, but Pitt perfectly executed a 3-6-1 double play to quickly gain the advantage in the frame. Robert Moss, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the two-hole, grounded out to Wolsonovich at short to end the game.
The Panthers return to action on Friday, March 14 when they begin a three-game conference series against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
Jordano to Join Saturday's Pirates Preview on 93.7 The Fan
Jacob Wright Named to All-ACC Academic Team
Billy Alvino Added to Baseball Coaching Staff
Panthers Participate in Collegiate Summer Leagues
Rich Condeelis Selected by Minnesota Twins in MLB Draft
Hobie Harris Selected by New York Yankees in MLB Draft