March 29, 2013
PITTSBURGH – Evan Oswald (SR/Butler, Pa.) scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 15th inning as the 30th-ranked Pitt baseball team (18-6) captured a dramatic 2-1 victory over Towson (13-12) in the second game of a doubleheader this afternoon at Cost Field at the Petersen Sports complex.
The 15 inning contest ties the longest game in Pitt baseball’s recorded history. A 3-2 loss to Juniata in 1948 also went 15 innings.
“Those were two big wins for us today,” said Pitt head coach Joe Jordano. “Towson is a very good, fundamentally sound and well coached team and we were happy to get two wins.”
Pitt used only two pitchers in the 15 inning affair. Matt Wotherspoon (JR/Mountain Top, Pa.) earned the start and went nine strong innings, allowing one run on five hits with nine strikeouts in the no decision.
“Matt threw probably a few more pitches than we’d like him too but it was really a great performance by him,” said Jordano. “He was throwing his breaking ball consistently for strikes, was spotting his fastball and did a great job for us.”
Jon Danielczyk (SR/Erie, Pa.) came into the game in the top of the 10th and closed out the game by going 6.0 innings and allowing a mere four hits to earn his first-career win.
“Jon did a phenomenal job for us today,” Jordano said. “He has been pitching extremely well for us and deserved that win.”
Towson struck first in the game as they manufactured a run in the top of the fourth inning. Pitt responded in the bottom of the fifth when Sam Parente (SR/Pittston, Pa.) blasted a homerun over the wall in left field to even the game at 1-1.
From there, the pitching shined as both staffs were able to keep the opposition off the scoreboard until the bottom of the 15th when Pitt was able to score the game winner.
After an early out, Ron Sucre (SR/Miami, Fla.) smoked a single through the left side of the infield to give the Panthers their first baserunner of the inning. Oswald then came to bat and hit a ball sharply to third. The Tigers’ third baseman was able to get the lead runner but Oswald was able to beat out the throw from second to avoid the inning ending double play and keep Pitt’s hopes alive in the 15th.
“That’s exactly what we expect,” Jordano explained. “We call it a hard 90. Every ball that we put in play we’re looking to beat to first base and Evan got down there with his speed.”
Eric Hess (SO/Erie, Pa.) came to the plate following Oswald and roped a single into center. Oswald alertly looked to go from first to third on the play as Towson was playing deep to prevent doubles. When Oswald made the turn for third, the Tigers’ centerfield overthrew the bag allowing Oswald to come home and give the Panthers the walk off win in 15 innings.
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” said Jordano. “We’re just trying to put together some good at bats, some good pitching performances and play well defensively. Our plan is very simple and it’s very clear and we just have to keep executing it one pitch at a time.”
Pitt and Towson wrap up their series tomorrow, Saturday, March 30, with a 1 p.m. contest.