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March 29, 2014

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PITTSBURGH – Behind a stellar pitching performance by Joe Harvey (JR/Audobon, Pa.) (2-1, 2.91 ERA), the University of Pittsburgh baseball team (14-11, 6-5 ACC) shut out No. 23 Georgia Tech (15-12, 5-6 ACC) 5-0 at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex this morning.

The Panthers have now won seven of their last eight contests and 17 consecutive conference games at home. They are also a perfect 7-0 at home to start the season, which marks the first time since 2010.

Harvey allowed three hits over a career-high eight innings and struck out three Yellow Jackets to notch his second win on the season (2-1). Jon Danielczyk (SR/Erie, Pa.) came on in relief in the ninth inning and recorded the final three outs to complete the shutout. Georgia Tech starter Devin Stanton picked up the loss for the Jackets after throwing 4.1 innings and allowing two runs on five hits.

Harvey got ahead of the Georgia Tech batters early on as he started the game striking out the final two in the bottom of the first inning. Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.) led off the game for the Panthers with a walk, marking the 15th consecutive game he has reached base safely. After Dylan Wolsonovich (SO/Ford City, Pa.) reached base with a bunt down the third base line, Boo Vazquez (JR/Youngstown, Ohio) moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt with one out, Stanton responded by striking out Casey Roche (SR/Downingtown, Pa.) and Steven Shelinsky Jr. (SR/Furlong, Pa.), respectively to end the Panthers scoring threat.

Over the next two innings, Harvey allowed the sole base-runner of the game for the Yellow Jackets by walking A.J. Murray. Through the first three innings, the junior continued to retire the Yellow Jackets’ line-up with three strikeouts and no hits. In the top of the third, Harvey retired three Yellow Jackets in order for the second time of the game.

Roche led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to left-center and would advance to third on a groundout to the right side of the infield by Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.). Third baseman Jordan Frabasilio (JR/Chandler, Az.) took one off the arm for Stanton’s second hit batter of the game and the Panthers had runners on the corners with Matt Johnson (JR/Plano, Texas) at the plate. After a long at-bat, Johnson drew a walk to load the bases for Manny Pazos (FR/Miami, Fl.). Stanton escaped the jam after Pazos grounded out to shortstop, leaving three Panthers stranded on the bags.

The Panthers would finally get to Stanton in the bottom of the fifth after Vranka singled, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Wolsonovich followed with a double advancing Vranka to third. Vazquez put the Panthers on top when he grounded out to the second baseman, scoring Vranka. Roche followed with an RBI single to bring home Wolsonovich. That would be Stanton’s final batter faced as Georgia Tech made a call to the bullpen and brought in RHP Matt Gorst. Gorst responded with a strikeout of Shelinsky. The Yellow Jackets’ ended the inning by throwing Roche out at second after his attempt to steal.

After a leadoff walk by Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.) to begin the bottom of the sixth, Frabasilio singled to right-center and Hess was thrown out advancing to third for the first out of the inning. Johnson followed with a single down the right field line to put runners on the corners for Pazos. After another pitching change for the Yellow Jackets, right hander Zac Ryan took the mound. Pazos would hit a sacrifice fly to score Frabasilio and give the Panthers a 3-0 advantage heading into the top of the seventh.

Harvey continued to shut down the Yellow Jackets offense as he forced the first two batters to pop up to the catcher and second baseman, respectively. Harvey got the final batter he would face to fly out to the warning track in left for the third out of the inning.

To start off the bottom of the eighth, Roche laced a double down the left field line for his second double-bagger of the afternoon. Nick Yarnall (FR, Landisville, Pa.) came in to pinch-hit for Shelinsky and drew a walk to put runners on first and second. After a sacrifice bunt by Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.) and an intentional walk of Frabasilio, the bases were loaded for Johnson. Georgia Tech made another call to the bullpen and brought in Joe Wiseman who hit the first batter he faced bringing home a run for the Panthers.  Facing a full count, Pazos ripped a base-hit into left field for his second RBI of the day to give Pitt a 5-0 lead heading into the top of the ninth.

Clinching the series win for Pitt, right-hander Danielczyk came in to finish off the shutout for the Panthers and recorded the final three outs.

The Panthers will look for their second consecutive ACC sweep tomorrow against the Yellow Jackets. First pitch has been moved to noon.

For more information on Pitt baseball, follow the media relations Twitter account at @PittBaseballACC and the coaching staff at @PITTBASEBALL.

The Panthers Sting No. 23 Georgia Tech, 5-0

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