April 13, 2014
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - A four-run bottom of the eighth lifted No. 20 Miami (25-12, 14-4 ACC) past the University of Pittsburgh baseball team (16-19, 8-10 ACC), 7-2, Sunday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Fla.
Bryan Radziewski (3-2, 3.69 ERA) was credited with the winning decision for the Hurricanes after recording eight strikes in 6.2 innings while allowing only one earned run in the outing. Matt Wotherspoon (SR/Mountain Top, Pa.) (3-5, 5.40 ERA) took the loss for the Panthers, permitted three runs (one earned) on six hits in a 6.1-frame performance. Bryan Garcia closed out the contest, securing his 10th save of the 2014 season.
“Today has typified the struggle we are having during this streak,” head coach Joe Jordano said. “We pitched well and we had our opportunities, but we failed to make a pitch or execute a critical at-bat when the opportunity presented itself. Credit to Miami, who is playing very well, for some clutch and timely hitting. We had a 3-2 ball game going into the bottom of the eighth and we could not keep it there. It’s critical that we keep playing hard and putting ourselves in a position to win these close games. We’ll get back to work tomorrow.”
The home half of the first was welcomed with a beautiful diving catch by left fielder A.J. Lardo (SO/Baltimore, Md.) on a ball put in play by Dale Carey, but Tyler Palmer would sting a Wotherspoon offering for a double to deep right center during the very next at-bat. Palmer, who advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a Willie Abreu sacrifice fly to left field to grant Miami the 1-0 advantage in the early going.
Steven Shelinsky, Jr. (SR/Furlong, Pa.) wore a 3-2 hit by pitch to lead off Pitt’s turn at the plate in the top of the second inning. Following a well-executed sacrifice bunt to the left side by Lardo, Shelinsky, Jr. made his way to third base on a Jordan Frabasilio (JR/Chandler, Ariz.) ground ball out to first baseman Brad Fieger. Radziewski, however, escaped the frame unscathed when he punched out Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.) swinging at strike three.
The Panthers placed a runner at second yet again during the game’s third stanza when Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.) sliced his 10th double of the season down the left field line with two outs in the inning. Dylan Wolsonovich (SO/Ford City, Pa.) then battled Radziewski in an eight-pitch duel that resulted in a walk that put a pair on for Casey Roche (SR/Downingtown, Pa.) out of the three-hole. Roche followed by biting at a 2-2 delivery that produced a lonesome pop fly to the catcher behind home plate, keeping the game at a 1-0 score.
During the Hurricanes’ half of the third, Alex Hernandez led off the at-bat by reaching safely on a throwing error by second baseman Matt Johnson (JR/Plano, Texas). After advancing into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Garrett Kennedy, Hernandez came across home plate on a chopping Carey ground ball poked past the reach of Wolsonovich and Johnson up the middle, 2-0.
Johnson started off Pitt’s share of the fifth with a one-out walk and was followed by Pazos reaching on a fielding error by Fieger. The next batter was Vranka, who grounded a Radziewski offering to the third baseman, opting for the force out and first instead of third. Wolsonovich then stepped up to the plate with the game-tying run now standing at second, but the only run mustered in the frame would be Johnson scoring on a wild pitch to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Carey slapped a hard-struck two-bagger down the left field line to register his second hit of the game and eighth overall in the series. Palmer then dropped a sacrifice bunt to the left side that Pazos recovered, but in an attempt to nail out Carey advancing to third, the Panthers’ catcher airmailed the ball into left field, allowing Miami to take a 3-1 advantage in the ball game.
With two down in the top of the seventh, Johnson managed a base on balls and Pazos was plunked by Radziewski to present Pitt with a first-and-second situation. Despite having held the Panthers hitless for four straight innings, the Hurricanes asked Cooper Hammond to make his third relief appearance of the weekend to replace the starting southpaw. Hammond surrendered an RBI base knock to shallow left field by Vranka plating Johnson on the play, 3-2.
Jon Danielczyk (SR/Erie, Pa.) relieved Wotherspoon in the bottom of the seventh following back-to-back one-out base knocks by Johnny Ruiz and Hernandez. A base on balls drawn by Kennedy loaded the bases for the hot-hitting Carey, who Danielczyk sawed off on a 3-2 swing-and-miss. Danielczyk stopped the bleeding for good when he induced a Palmer ground ball out to Wolsonovich at shortstop.
The Hurricanes began to chip away at Danielczyk in the bottom of the eighth with Abreu and Zack Collins drawing consecutive walks to open up the frame. Fieger loaded the bases with a base hit through the left side and was followed by Ruiz’s two-out two-RBI double to left center field that scored Abreu and Collins, 5-2.
Luke Curtis (JR/Philipsburg, Pa.) took over on the mound with one out and two runners on in the inning. Hernandez connected for a two-RBI single off of Curtis, upping the contest to a 7-2 score.
Miami’s Garcia, who sat down the heart of Pitt’s lineup in the top of the eighth, blanked his opposition for a second straight inning with a perfect ninth.
The Panthers return to action on Tuesday, April 15 when they host Youngstown State in a 6 p.m. contest at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex in Pittsburgh, Pa.
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