March 25, 2009
PITTSBURGH — For the second straight game, the University of Pittsburgh baseball team has rallied from behind, coming back from a 4-0 hole to defeat the Youngstown State University Penguins, 7-4, for the second time in the last eight days. The game was called after the top half of the sixth inning due to rain.
Josh Smith (1-0) picked up the win in relief, throwing four and a third innings, allowing just three hits while striking out six Penguin batters.
Kevin Dooley started on the mound for Pitt (13-6, 2-1 Big East), running into trouble early as YSU (4-17) tagged him for four runs on six singles in the top half of the opening frame. Smith came in with two out, getting Eric Hymel to groundout to end the inning.
The Panthers got on the board with a single run in the bottom of the second. A double steal with Cory Brownsten on first and Nathan Hood on second resulted in a throwing error from catcher Anthony Porter, allowing Hood to cross the plate.
A scoreless third by both teams was followed by an explosive six-run sixth from Pitt. Frank Mercurio led the inning off with a single up the middle, advancing to second after Hood was hit by a Matt Tucker pitch. Both runners advanced with a wild pitch by Tucker and scored the one batter later when Brownsten roped his second of three singles on the day to left field, cutting the YSU lead to 4-3. Brownsten tied the game at 4-4, scoring off a Chris Sedon sacrifice fly to right field. John Schultz, Joe Leonard and Danny Lopez all followed with RBI singles, building the Pitt lead to 7-4.
Youngstown State threatened in the top half of the fifth, but with runners on first and second, Smith was able to strike out Jeremy Banks and Derek Carr to end the inning.
The Panthers will be in action at home again this weekend, March 27-29, hosting the University of Notre Dame in Big East Conference play. First pitch for Friday’s contest is scheduled for 3 p.m.