April 8, 2014
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (16-16, 8-7 ACC) fell to Akron (15-14, 6-3 MAC), 7-5, Tuesday night in a midweek matchup at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Masashi Sakamoto earned the winning decision for the Zips, after tossing a scoreless frame in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Dian (JR/Gibsonia, Pa.) was tagged for the loss for the Panthers after allowing one run in 0.1 innings pitched. The save went to Matt LaRocca, his second of the year.
“There’s not really anything positive I have coming out of today’s ball game,” head coach Joe Jordano said. “We did not pitch particularly well, we did not field the baseball very well, and even though we had twelve hits, not many of them came when it counted.”
Akron opened the game's scoring in the top of the second inning. After T.J. Zeuch (FR/Mason, Ohio) struck out the first batter looking, Billy Salem reached on an infield error. Sheltrown then singled to center field to advance the Salem to second base. James Meeker stepped into the batter’s box and singled to center field, but an error on Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.) allowed Salem to come across home plate, giving the Zips an early 1-0 advantage. Two batters later, Daulton Mosbarger slapped a base hit through the right side to score Sheltrown, making it a 2-0 score.
The Panthers struck back in the bottom of the second when Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.) and Nick Yarnall (FR/Landisville, Pa.) worked for two back-to-back bases on balls to lead off the at-bat. Caleb Parry (FR/Riverside, Calif.) then doubled down the left field line to score Hess, cutting the Zips’ lead by one run. Vranka then doubled to left field to plate both Parry and Yarnall to put Pitt on top, 3-2.
In the top of the third inning, Kris Simonton reached first on a two-out infield error. Simonton then stole second to put a man in scoring position. Salem struck out swinging but reached on an error by Parry that scored Simonton, knotting the game at three runs apiece.
Vranka doubled to the warning track in left center field to spark a two-out rally for Pitt. Wolsonovich then reached on an infield single to put runners at the corners, and an error by the pitcher allowed Vranka to touch home plate, 4-3.
In the top of the fifth inning, Matt Rembielak reached on an infield error while advancing into scoring position on the play. Devan Ahart drove in Rembielak on an RBI single to even the score at 4-4. The inning ended after a fielder’s choice rundown of the man at third followed by a pickoff of the runner at second base.
Adam Dian (JR/Gibsonia, Pa.) was called in from the bullpen to pitch in relief of Zeuch in the top of the eighth. After striking out the first batter he faced, Dian plunked Grant Alvarez on the hand. Danny Lawrence came in to pinch run for Alvarez and after a Simonton walk he advanced to second. Salem reached on a fielder’s and Simonton advanced to second on the sixth Panther error of the night.
Jon Danielczyk (SR/Erie, Pa.) then came to the mound in relief of Dian. On a Sheltrown single to first, Lawrence scored to give Akron a 5-4 lead and the bases were loaded for Meeker. Simonton scored on a passed ball and the Zips quickly had the 6-4 advantage. Meeker grounded out for the second out of the inning, but Brady Stewart reached on an infield error scoring Salem, giving the Zips a final insurance run and a 7-4 lead. The inning came to an end with a groundout to Matt Johnson.
The Panthers struck back and cut the Zips’ lead by one run in the home half of the eighth. Matt LaRocca came in to pitch for the Zips and gave up a leadoff single to Stephen Vranka. Two batters later, Boo Vazquez worked a seven-pitch at bat for a base on balls putting Vranka in scoring position. AJ Lardo (SO/Baltimore, Md.) came in to pinch run for Boo Vazquez at first base. Eric Hess followed with a single to score Vranka cutting the Zips’ lead, 7-5.
Matt LaRocca tossed a scoreless ninth to secure the Zips’ 7-5 victory.
The Panthers return to action this weekend on April 11-13 when they open their three-game conference series against No. 23 Miami (FL).
For more information on Pitt baseball, follow the media relations Twitter account at @PittBaseballACC and the coaching staff at @PITTBASEBALL.
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