April 9, 2010
PITTSBURGH - The Pitt baseball team defeated No. 7-ranked Louisville, 8-3, Friday afternoon at Trees Field to improve to 21-7 on the year and 5-2 in Big East action. The Cardinals fell to 24-5 overall and 5-2 in league play.
Corey Baker picked up the win for the Panthers, pitching seven innings, while giving up three earned runs and striking out five batters. Designated hitter Kevan Smith and catcher Cory Brownsten each went 3-for-4 on the day with two runs batted in and a run scored.
Pitt gave up an early run in the first when Louisville shortstop Ryan Wright homered to right center for the 1-0 lead. The Panthers responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-out rally including a Travis Whitmore single, which drove in Pitt's first score of the day. Smith (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) followed that up with a 2-RBI double to right center, giving Pitt the 3-1 lead.
Both teams were held scoreless in the second and third despite each team leaving three runners on base over the two innings.
In the top of the fourth, Louisville added two runs to tie it up including a homer by their leadoff batter of the inning. A single with one on tied up the game at 3-3.
Again with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Pitt's John Schultz drove in Brownsten (Lockport, N.Y./Monroe CC) off a left field single giving Pitt the 4-3 lead. The Panthers would not trail the remainder of the contest.
The combination of Baker (New City, N.Y./Clarkstown South), Cole Taylor and J.R. Leonardi shut down the Cardinal bats the remainder of the game including allowing just two hits in the final five innings of action.
The Panthers, however, added a run in the bottom of the sixth off a Brownsten single through the right side. Pitt took its 5-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and two on, Phil Konieczny (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe) singled through the left side to drive in David Chester from third. Brownsten was next to the plate and singled to bring home Smith. Pitt's final run of the inning came when Konieczny stole home to give Pitt its final 8-3 score.
In the top of the ninth, Leonardi (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Alderdice) retired all three batters to give Pitt its 21st victory of the season and take game one of the three-game series.
Pitt will continue its series with the Cardinals Saturday at 3 p.m. at Trees Field. The three-game set will wrap up Sunday at noon.