April 6, 2013
Tampa, Fla. – USF (17-14, 6-2 Big East) scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to come back and defeat Pitt (20-8, 3-2 Big East), 7-6, this evening at the USF Baseball Stadium.
Adrian Puig (1-0) picked up the win in relief for the Bulls, while Alex Caravella (SR/Harrington Park, N.J.) (1-1) took the loss for Pitt.
The Panthers got on the board first when Stephen Vranka (JR/Monroeville, Pa.) blasted a two-run homerun to deep left center scoring Dylan Wolsonovich (FR/Ford City, Pa.), who had reached on a single into left field.
Pitt was able to extend its lead in the top of the fifth. Wolsonovich came to the plate and hit a two out double into left center and was brought home on a USF throwing error to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Panthers.
USF responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame to cut the lead down to a loan run.
A pair of clutch two out hits in the top of the seventh helped Pitt extend its lead to four runs. A.J. Lardo (FR/Baltimore, Md.) started the Panthers rally in the inning when he singled into left. Evan Oswald (SR/Butler, Pa.) followed by drawing a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. Following an infield fly, Vranka came up with a two RBI double down the left field line to bring home Oswald and Ron Sucre (SR/Miami, Fla.) who came in to pinch run for Lardo. Eric Hess (SO/Erie, Pa.) brought Vranka home when he ripped a single into right field to push the Pitt lead to 6-2.
With Matt Wotherspoon (JR/Mountain Top, Pa.) on the bench after another quality start of 6.0 innings pitched, five hits, two earned and four strikeouts. The Bulls scored a pair in the bottom of the seventh cutting the lead back to two runs at 6-4.
Pitt’s offense could not muster any more runs in the final two innings and USF was able to take advantage when it scored three in the bottom of the ninth to complete the 7-6 comeback and clinch the series.
The Panthers and Bulls will be back in action again tomorrow morning when they wrap up their series with an 11 a.m. contest. Rhys Aldenhoven (JR/Victoria, Australia) (5-0, 2.70 ERA) will take the mound for Pitt while USF will send Joey Lovecchio (3-2, 6.75 ERA) to toe the rubber.