March 21, 2009
PITTSBURGH — The University of Pittsburgh baseball team extended its winning streak to six games with a 5-0 shutout over Big East rival Cincinnati here today at Trees Field. Corey Baker pitched a complete-game shutout, scattering six hits while striking out five for his team-leading third win of the year.
The Panther offense was led by Frank Mercurio, who went 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI including his third home run of the season, a solo shot that started the sixth for Pitt.
Baker (3-0) had plenty of help from the defense behind him as the Panthers turned two double plays in the game, one of which came in the top of the ninth with Bearcat runners on first and second with no outs. Right fielder Matt Litzinger registered six putouts in the game, including two amazing catches at the wall.
Chris Sedon singled and stole second to led off the bottom of the first for Pitt (11-5, 2-0 Big East). After advancing to third on a John Schultz grounder, Joe Leonard drove Sedon in with a grounder for his 17th RBI of the season.
Zach Duggan walked to lead off the Panther third and scored on a Schultz double to center field, making it 2-0 in favor of the home squad.
In the fourth Pitt added two more with the help of two Cincinnati (9-7, 0-2 Big East) errors. Danny Lopez walked then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Nick Rohlfs. Mercurio doubled down the right-field line to drive in Lopez, and later scored on a Litzinger singled up the middle to make it 4-0 Pitt.
Pitt and Cincinnati wrap up their Big East opening series tomorrow, March 22. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m. at Trees Field.