March 17, 2013
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (12-6) saw five different batters tally RBIs as it downed Toledo (7-11), 9-5, this afternoon in the final game of the Panther Classic II at Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex.
“We needed this win today,” said head coach Joe Jordano. “We did not play well yesterday and needed to respond today and we did. We had solid performances on the mound by Rhys Aldenhoven (JR/Victoria, Australia) and Jon Danielczyk (SR/Erie, Pa.), played clean defensively and got timely hitting.”
Aldenhoven (3-0) registered the win for the Panthers after pitching 7.2 innings allowing five runs and striking out a pair. Cody Umbright (0-1) took the loss for the Rockets.
The Panthers got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. Evan Oswald (SR/Butler, Pa.) led off the inning with a single into center field. Eric Hess (SO/Erie, Pa.) followed up by working a walk after falling behind 0-2. Steve Shelinsky Jr. (JR/Yardley, Pa.) also walked to load the bases with one out. Elvin Soto (SO/New York, N.Y.) then grounded into a fielder’s choice to bring home Oswald to give Pitt the 1-0 lead before Boo Vazquez (SO/Youngstown, Ohio) smoked a single into left to give the Panthers their second run of the inning and a 2-0 lead.
Toledo scored a pair in the top of the third and an additional run in the top of the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. However, the Panthers responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth when Stephen Vranka (JR/Monroeville, Pa.) hammered a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left field for a two run blast, his first home run of the season.
Pitt added to its advantage in the bottom of the seventh by batting around and scoring five runs. Dylan Wolsonovich (FR/Ford City, Pa.) started out the inning with a walk and then stole second and third. Vranka then drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with no out. Following a strikeout and Wolsonovich getting caught at the plate on a fielder’s choice, Casey Roche (JR/Downingtown, Pa.) came up with a clutch two out, two RBI, double into the gap in center field. The Panthers were then able to take advantage of a costly error by the Rockets to the tune of three more runs capped off by a Sam Parente (SR/Pittston, Pa.) two RBI single to third. As the seventh inning drew to a close Pitt had pushed its lead to 9-3.
Toledo was able to get a pair of runs back in the eighth but Danielczyk closed the door on the Rockets in the ninth and preserved the 9-5 victory.
“Toledo is a very good team and I would expect them to compete for a MAC Championship,” said Jordano. “These games against them were very similar to a Big East opponent so I feel this weekend will help us prepare for the Big East opener at St. John’s next weekend.”
The Panthers will be back in action on Tuesday, March 19, when they wrap up a 10-game homestand with in-state rival Penn State at 4:30 p.m.