April 6, 2007
LOUISVILLE, KY. - Reigning Big East Pitcher of the Week Paul Nardozzi led the Pitt baseball team to its first-ever win over the conference leading Louisville Cardinals Friday at Patterson Stadium. Nardozzi earned a season-high 10 strikeouts as Kyle Landis came in as relief to pick up the save in the 6-4 victory. Senior Seth Button added an insurance run in the ninth with his team-leading fifth long ball of the season.
The Panthers (12-14 overall, 6-4 Big East) tallied the games' first runs, scoring one in the first inning and adding two more in the second. Sean Conley (JR/Chippewa, Pa./Blackhawk) reached base on an error by Louisville's (21-9, 6-2) third baseman, advancing all the way to second.
Two batters later, Button (SR/Elk Lake, Pa./Gloucester College) doubled to center field, driving in Conley for the games' first run. Button would go 3-4 on the day, including another double in the third and the solo shot in the ninth, earning two RBIs for Pitt.
With a 1-0 lead, the Panthers added two more in the second when leadoff batter Dan Williams (JR/Berwyn, Pa./Episcopal Academy) drew one of his three walks on the day. Williams advanced to second on a sac-bunt by catcher Nick Mullins (JR/Brick, N.J./Brookdale Community College) and scored when shortstop Danny Lopez (FR/Queens, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) ripped his first-career triple to right-center field.
Center fielder Jordan Herr (RS FR/Lancaster, Pa./Delaware) followed with a hard-hit double to right, scoring Lopez to give Pitt a 3-0 advantage.
Nardozzi kept the Cardinal bats quite until the bottom of the fifth when Louisville notched its first hits of the game. Third baseman Chris Dominguez singled to left field, ending Nardozzi's perfect game, but was thrown out at second after a quick 7-6-4 relay by the Panther defense. Left fielder Isaiah Howes followed with a double of his own, but was left stranded as Nardozzi drew groundouts off the next two batters.
Louisville got on the board in the sixth getting three runs off four hits and one Pitt error to tie the game at 3-3. That would be Nardozzi's final inning as he finished throwing no walks while giving up three runs off six hits, picking up his fourth win of the season.
The Panthers added two runs in the top of the seventh when Conley ripped a leadoff double down the first base line and scored on a single by right fielder Peter Parise (SR/Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman). Parise scored when Williams ripped his first hit of the day to the left side, moving the score to 5-3 in favor of Pitt. Williams went 1-1 with three walks, one run scored and one RBI in the game.
Landis (JR/Hazelton, Pa./Hazelton) came on as relief in the seventh for the Panthers and continued his strong showing on the mound, as he went three innings allowing two hits, while giving up just his second earned run of the season to earn his second save.
The Cardinals added a run in the eighth to pull within one of the Panthers, but Button sealed the deal in the ninth blasting a solo homerun to center field for the games' final of 6-4. Button now leads Pitt with a .557 slugging percentage as he's tallied 49 total bases.
The Panthers will conclude their three-game series in Louisville with a 1 p.m. game tomorrow. Pitt will then head to Akron, Ohio to face the Zips in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday, April 10, at 3 p.m. The Panthers will then travel to Washington, Pa. to take on cross-town rival Duquesne on Wednesday, April 11, at Falconi Field, home of the minor league Washington Wild Things. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
NOTES: With today's game, Paul Nardozzi continues to climb in the Panther record books. Nardozzi is currently Pitt's all-time leader for games started (45), as he claimed that title last season. In his complete-game shutout against Notre Dame on March 31, Nardozzi become first on the Panthers' all-time career innings pitched, as he's tallied 238.2 to date. Tonight's win placed Nardozzi at third on the all-time career wins list (18) as he needs five more to claim the number one spot. Nardozzi is also just 11 shy of first place on the all-time career strikeouts list, as he sits at second place with 227.