Video: Coach Jordano Interview
PITTSBURGH - The Pitt baseball team won a non-conference game for the second time in as many days, topping red-hot Penn State 5-3 on a cold Wednesday night at Charles L. Cost Field.
Similar to their 9-5 win at Akron on Tuesday, the Panthers received a solid start from a pitcher normally used out of the bullpen, as Alex Caravella picked up his first win of the season. He allowed three runs, just one earned, in six innings of work, helping end the Nittany Lions' six-game winning streak.
"Coach (Tom) Lipari does a great job with our staff," Jordano said. "We're switching some roles around a little bit, trying to get some guys some innings, and they're executing the plan. They're doing a great job for us."
Freshman Luke Novosel and redshirt freshman Joe Harvey combined for three scoreless innings in relief. Harvey entered with two on and two out in the eighth inning and pitched the Panthers out of a jam. He came back out for the ninth to earn his first career save.
"I was very pleased with today's performance. I think we gave them a few too many opportunities early in the ballgame, but we rebounded extremely well," said Pitt head coach Joe Jordano. "It was nice for us to get the W. We came up with some big hits and some big pitches. Overall it was a very solid performance."
Pitt (16-15) trailed early, but only briefly. The Panthers allowed two runs on just one hit in the top of the second inning, before responding with two runs of their own to tie the game in the bottom half of the frame.
With two outs and the bases clear, Mike Douglas started the rally for the Panthers with a bunt single down the third base line. Stephen Vranka followed with a line drive down the left field line for a double that scored Douglas all the way from first, and would later score himself on a single by Evan Oswald.
Oswald had a pair of hits in the game and drove in a run for the third straight game. He had three RBIs in Pitt's 9-5 win over Akron on Tuesday.
The Panthers took a 4-2 lead with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Oswald started the go-ahead inning this time, fighting off a two-strike pitch with a well-placed blooper just inside the right field foul line for a double. He and Anthony Defabio would later score on a single by freshman Elvin Soto.
Penn State cut the deficit to 4-3 with a run in the top of the sixth inning, but Pitt wasted little time in getting that run back as DeFabio drove in Wilson with a single in the seventh.
Soto, one of just three Pitt players to appear in all 31 games this season, is now third on the team with 27 RBIs. He was one of just three players - DeFabio and Oswald were the others - to have two hits in the game for the Panthers.
Pitt will try to take the momentum from back-to-back wins into its three-game BIG EAST series with USF this weekend. The Panthers will host the Bulls at the Petersen Sports Complex on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.