March 30, 2014
PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (15-11, 7-5 ACC) completed a three game sweep of No. 23 Georgia Tech (15-13, 5-7 ACC) this weekend at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex, making this the first time since the 2010 season the Panthers have started their home slate with an 8-0 record.
This victory finalizes the second consecutive home sweep of an ACC opponent this season and the first time Georgia Tech has been swept during the 2014 campaign. It is Pitt's first time sweeping a nationally ranked opponent since April of last season against then No. 16 Notre Dame. The Panthers have recorded 18-straight home victories and won seven of the last eight contests.
"I was really pleased with Matt (Wotherspoon) on the mound today," Head Coach Joe Jordano said. "He needed that. He did a very solid job. He commanded his pitches well. He gave us an opportunity, just as Joe (Harvey) and Rhys (Aldenhoven) did the two previous days. We beat a very, very good baseball team with a great tradition that is well coached. I thought our guys came in and played our game. We played clean baseball. We pitched well. We played hard and we took advantage of some offensive opportunities."
Matt Wotherspoon (SR/Mountain Top, Pa.) (3-3, 6.81 ERA) recorded the victory for the Panthers today. He tied his season high by pitching seven innings, allowing six hits and striking out four batters. Matthew Grimes recorded the loss for the Yellow Jackets.
After two and a half scoreless innings, the Panthers added runs to the board in the bottom of the third. Matt Johnson (JR/Plano, Texas) earned a lead-off walk for the Panthers. Manny Pazos (FR/Miami, Fla.) then laid down a bunt the pitcher was unable to field, putting runners on first and second. Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.) then had a sac bunt to advance both runners which was followed by a Dylan Wolsonovich (SO/Ford City, Pa.) line drive into left field to score both runners, putting the Panthers on top with a 2-0 lead.
After another scoreless inning for both teams, Georgia Tech struck back and recorded their first run in 22 innings dating back to Friday night. Keenan Innis started off the fifth inning with a single for the Yellow Jackets. With a groundout to the shortstop, Innis then advanced to second. With the runner in scoring position, the lineup turned over and Daniel Spingola brought Innis home with a single to center field, making the score 2-1.
The Panthers countered the Yellow Jackets' run in the top half of the inning with one of their own in the bottom half. Jordan Frabasilio (JR/Chandler, Az.) recorded an infield single to the shortstop. Johnson followed the single up with a double of his own, advancing Frabasilio to third base. The Yellow Jackets then intentionally walked Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.) who extended his hitting streak to 10 games and reached base in the 16th straight contest by doubling in the first inning. After loading the bases, Boo Vazquez (JR/Youngstown, Ohio) added to his team leading 30th RBI when he drew a walk to bring in a run, putting the Panthers up 3-1.
The Panthers added another run in the bottom of the sixth. Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.) doubled down the left field line to start the Panthers off. Nick Yarnall (FR/Landisville, Pa.) followed up with a single to right field, advancing Hess to third. Frabasilio hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring Hess in for an RBI, giving the Panthers an insurance run and a 4-1 lead.
Georgia Tech then threatened in the top of the seventh inning after a lead-off triple from Connor Justus. After Justus scored on a passed ball, Wotherspoon retired the Yellow Jackets in order to end the inning and his stint on the mound.
Luke Curtis (JR/Philipsburg, Pa.) came in to relieve Wotherspoon in the top of the eighth inning and the final two innings while allowing just two hits en route to his second save of the season.
The Panthers will return to action on Tuesday, April 1 when they host West Virginia in the home half of the Backyard Brawl. First pitch set for 6 p.m.