April 11, 2010
PITTSBURGH - Pitt's baseball team had already earned the series win over No. 7-ranked Louisville including wins on Friday and Saturday, but were looking for a three-game sweep of the Cardinals on Sunday. The Panthers' quest came up just short, falling 9-7 in a hard-fought loss at Trees Field.
Pitt (22-8 overall, 6-3 Big East) led the majority of the game and held the 7-5 advantage heading into the ninth inning, but Louisville (25-7, 6-3 Big East) put together a four-run ninth to take the two-run victory over the Panthers and avoid the sweep.
Catcher Cory Brownsten (Lockport, N.Y./Monroe CC) led the Panthers offensively hitting 3-for-4 on the day with three runs batted in and a run scored. Pitcher Nate Hood (Cleburne, Texas/North Texas Central CC) contributed 7.0 strong innings, giving up four runs on six hits, but it would not be enough to hold off the Cardinals. Ray Black (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Coughlin) came on in relief, giving up five runs on five hits in 2.0 innings of work in the loss.
No hits were recorded for either team in the first inning of play despite Pitt leaving one base runner on. In the bottom of the second, the Panthers took the 1-0 lead on an RBI single from Brownsten, driving home Kevan Smith from second.
Louisville remained scoreless through three innings, but the Panthers added another in the bottom of the third to take a 2-0 lead. Smith (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) singled through the left side to bring home John Schultz (West Lawn, Pa./Wilson) from third.
In the top of the fourth, Louisville cut the Pitt lead with an RBI single to bring the score to 2-1. Pitt responded with three hits, resulting in two runs for the Panthers. Danny Lopez (Queens, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) tripled to drive in the first and Schultz singled through the right side to bring in Lopez for the 4-1 Pitt lead.
Pitt increased its lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth on a Brownsten double down the left field line that scored Phil Konieczny and Travis Whitmore.
In the sixth, Louisville's bats came alive with a three-run outing, which cut the Panther lead to 6-4. David Chester (Collinsville, Okla./Seminole CC) doubled to center field for the Panthers, scoring Joe Leonard from first giving Pitt the 7-4 lead.
Louisville added a run in the top of the eighth on an RBI groundout. With a runner on third, Black forced another groundout to end the half inning.
Pitt could not add to its run total in the eighth and the Cardinals took advantage of the opportunity in front of them. In the top of the ninth, Louisville took its first lead of the day scoring four runs off four hits. The two scoring hits were both two-run homers, one to right center and one to left center. Louisville to the 9-7 lead.
Chester led off the bottom half of the inning with a single through the left side. He got no help, however, as the next three batters were retired, giving the Cardinals the 9-7 win.
Pitt will travel to Penn State Tuesday for a midweek contest at 6:05 p.m. The last meeting between the teams resulted in a 7-4 Pitt victory on March 24 of this season.