March 24, 2007
The first inning proved to be the difference in the game, as
"I was disappointed in our pitching in the first inning," Pitt head coach Joe Jordano said following the game. "After that, [Rob] Brant came in and did a decent job, but we need our Friday-night starters to give us Friday-night performances. We could've been out of the first inning only down one [run].
After a tough start, the Panthers answered with the help of redshirt freshman Gary Bucuren (RS. FR. Ambridge, Pa./Kentucky). With one out, left fielder Sean Conley (JR. Chippewa, Pa./Blackhawk) drew a walk from Bearcats starter right-handed sophomore Steven Blevins. With Conley at first, Bucuren ripped a two-run shot for his fourth homerun of the season, giving Pitt its first points of the game. Bucuren finished the game 2-4 with two RBIs as he continues to lead the Panthers at the plate with a .373 batting average.
Blevins would allow three more Pitt runs to score, while giving up just five more hits and striking out three to move his record to 4-3 on the season in seven innings of work. Sophomore Jake Geglein finished the game on the mound for the Bearcats, going two innings, while allowing the Panthers to add just one final run in the ninth.
"[Steven] Blevins pitched well for
Pitt added its third run to the board in the top of the third when Conley came home on a wild pitch, moving the score to 10-3 at that point. The Panthers wouldn't score again until the seventh when back-to-back, pinch-hitters came through for Pitt.
Batting for second baseman Mike Lepor (JR. Rochester, Mi./Grand Rapids Community College), Dan Williams (JR. Berwyn, Pa./Episcopal Academy) ripped a two-out double to right field. Brian Muldowney (SO.
Williams added a second double in the ninth to score shortstop Daniel Lopez (FR. Queens, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) for the Panthers' fifth and final run. Williams went 2-2 on the day with two doubles, one run-scored and one RBI, while Lopez went 1-2, drawing two walks and tallying three putouts and a game-high five assists.
"We'll come back tomorrow and play hard," Jordano said. "We'll continue to battle hard and work hard every day to turn our team around."
The Panthers will be back in action on Sunday with a double-header against
NOTES: Gary Bucuren and Dan Williams were the lone Panthers to tally two or more hits in the contest. Bucuren continues to lead the team in a number of offensive categories, including, but not limited to, batting average (.373), slugging percentage (.582) and on-base percentage (.440). Pitt is now 0-2 all-time vs.