April 5, 2013
Tampa, Fla. – Ethan Mildren (JR/Hopwood, Pa.) tossed a complete game, striking out six and allowing only an unearned run in the first but it wasn’t enough as Pitt (20-7, 3-1 Big East) fell to USF (16-14, 5-2 Big East) 1-0 in the series opener at the USF Baseball Stadium in Tampa.
Jimmy Herget (3-1) picked up the win for the Bulls with a complete game shutout, while Mildren (5-2) took the loss for Pitt.
The Bulls got on the board first when they scored an unearned run in the home half of the first inning which proved to be the difference in the game as both pitchers settled in early.
Stephen Vranka (JR/Monroeville, Pa.) got a leadoff single to break up the USF no hitter in the top of the sixth inning. Aggressive baserunning moved Vranka to second with no outs but the Bulls were able to get out of the inning as the Panthers were unable to bring him home.
Pitt threatened again in the top of the eighth, when Vranka smashed a one-out standup double to wall in the deepest part of the ballpark in right center field. Eric Hess (SO/Erie, Pa.) followed Vranka by ripping a shot up the middle but unfortunately for the Panthers it was caught by the Bulls shortstop who was cheating toward the middle of the infield and Vranka was doubled off to end the threat.
Casey Roche (JR/Downingtown, Pa.) led off the ninth by working a walk but met the same fate as Vranka the inning before as he was doubled off on a rope hit by Boo Vazquez (SO/Youngstown, Ohio) that was snared by a USF defender.
The Panthers and Bulls will be back in action again tomorrow evening when they faceoff in a 6 p.m. contest. Matt Wotherspoon (JR/Mountain Top, Pa.) (4-1, 3.10 ERA) will take the mound for Pitt while USF will send Nick Gonzalez (2-3, 3.43 ERA) to toe the rubber.