March 13, 2007
CLEARWATER, FLA. - The Pitt baseball team captured its second straight victory with a 6-0, shutout win over St. Joseph's on Wednesday as part of the Clearwater Invitational to improve to 2-8 on the season, while the Hawks fell to 1-11. Rob Brant pitched a complete, nine-inning game, throwing 12 strikeouts to tie his career high set in 2005 against West Virginia University.
Pitt tallied 13 hits in the contest, including a solo homerun from Gary Bucuren (Ambridge, Pa./Kentucky) in the top of the fifth to put the Panthers up 5-0. Bucuren's long ball was his second of the season. The Pitt offense started the game strong, scoring runs in both the bottom of the first and second innings.
Mike Lepor (Rochester, Mi./Grand Rapids Community College) started the game by advancing to first after getting hit with a pitch and advanced to second on an error by Hawks' starting pitcher Mark Dolaghan. Bucuren followed with an RBI-single to score Lepor for the Panthers' first run.
With a 1-0 lead going into the second inning, the Pitt offense continued to produce. Jordan Herr (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster) and Dan Williams (Berwyn, Pa./Episcopal Academy) tallied back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Lepor followed with a bunt down the first-base line to advance Herr and Williams. With one out, Sean Conley (Chippewa, Pa./Blackhawk) ripped a single through the infield, scoring both runners to put the Panthers up 3-0.
Pitt wasn't finished there, however, as Seth Button (Elk Lake, Pa./Gloucester College) doubled to score Conley and move the Panthers lead to 4-0. Button finished the game going 2-4 with two doubles and an RBI, while Conley added two singles.
Following Bucuren's homerun in the bottom of the fifth, Button notch his second double of the day and was followed by a single from Peter Parise (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman). With runners at the corners, Morgan Kielty (Burlington Ontario/Burlington Central) tallied the Panthers' fourth-straight hit with an RBI-single to score Button for the games' final of 6-0.
Brant (Mansfield, Pa./Mansfield) had a no-hitter going until the top of the seventh when the St. Joseph's offense tallied back-to-back singles with one out. Brant and the Panther defense were able to hold the runners as the following batters struck out and popped-out to Bucuren at third.
The Hawks notched three more hits over the final two innings of play, but were unable to score a run as Brant (1-2) went on to pick up his first win of the season.
Pitt will be back in action tomorrow for a second game against St. Joseph's as it continues spring training in Clearwater, Fla. The Panthers will then face Lehigh in a doubleheader on Friday, before seeing Sacred Heart for a third time this season on Sunday, March 11.
NOTES: Pitt had four players with two or more hits in today's contest, Sean Conley went 2-5 with two singles, Gary Bucuren batted 3-4 with two singles and a solo homerun, Seth Button went 2-4 with two doubles and Morgan Kielty went 2-4 single and a double. The four players also combined for all five of Pitt's RBIs. Bucuren currently leads the team with a .371 batting average.