April 18, 2014
PITTSBURGH – A one-run double by Shane Kennedy in the top of the 11th inning lifted No. 20 Clemson (23-14, 11-7 ACC) past the University of Pittsburgh baseball team (16-21, 8-11 ACC), 3-2, Friday evening at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Drew Moyer earned the win for the Tigers in three innings of relief. Hobie Harris (3-5, 2.34 ERA) got the losing decision for the Panthers.
“That was a great ball game,” head coach Joe Jordano said. “It was well-pitched and well-defended and Clemson came up with a big hit in a critical spot. We had our opportunities and you just have to tip your cap to Clemson for getting the big hit at the right time. We’ve been struggling a little bit and I thought we did play well today and I was pleased with our effort but it wasn’t good enough to get the win and we’re here to win, not play close.”
Stephen Vranka (SR/Monroeville, Pa.) led off the bottom of the first with an infield single that deflected off of starting pitcher Matthew Crownover to the right side. Dylan Wolsonovich (SO/Ford City, Pa.) followed with a bunt single lofted down the first base line that Crownover was unable to corral on a diving effort, putting a pair of runners on for Pitt with nobody out in the frame. After Casey Roche (SR/Downingtown, Pa.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Steven Shelinsky, Jr. (SR/Furlong, Pa.) towered a high fly ball to center field that allowed Vranka to tag up from third, 1-0. Boo Vazquez (JR/Youngstown, Ohio) then lined out to Tyler Slaton in center to bring across Wolsonovich, upping the score to a 2-0 advantage in the Panthers’ favor.
Clemson manufactured its first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning, starting with Tyler Krieger roping a base knock into shallow left field and advancing to second on a passed ball. Steven Duggar then reached on a soft groundball single to Wolsonovich at short to give the Tigers runners at the corners. Following a swipe of second base by Duggar, Chris Okey grounded home an unearned run, 2-1.
Joseph Harvey (JR/Audubon, Pa.) surrendered back-to-back singles to Okey and Steve Wilkerson to open the top of the seventh, with Kennedy laying down a sacrifice bunt to push both runners into scoring position. Hobie Harris (JR/McKinney, Texas) then entered the game in relief of Harvey and forced a groundball out by Jay Baum that Okey scored on to tie the game at 2-2. Harris then managed to get out of the inning by setting down Slaton on strikes for the third and final out of the stanza.
Both teams were kept off the board heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, with Drew Moyer relieving Crownover to face a pinch-hitting Nick Yarnall (FR/Landisville, Pa.) who smoked a frozen rope into shallow center field to lead off Pitt’s at-bat. Jordan Frabasilio (JR/Chandler, Ariz.) dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance Yarnall to second, but was followed by Moyer punching out Matt Johnson (JR/Plano, Texas) swinging at strike three. The Panthers’ chances at walking off in the ninth were put to an end when Manny Pazos (FR/Miami, Fla.) popped out to second.
Duggar singled through the right side to lead of the visiting half of the 11th and stole second base to put the Tigers’ go-ahead run in scoring position. Though Duggar was held at second on an Okey groundout to third, he was able to advance when Wilkerson slapped a ground ball to Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.) at first for the second out of the inning. With two outs and one runner on, Kennedy delivered an RBI double to the right field power alley, granting Clemson a one-run lead over Pitt heading into the bottom of the 11th, 3-2.
The Panthers return to action on Saturday, April 19 when they play the second game of their three-game series against Clemson at Charles L. Cost Field. Matt Wotherspoon (SR/Mountain Top, Pa.) (3-5, 5.40 ERA) is expected to toe the rubber in opposition of the Tigers’ Daniel Gossett (4-0, 2.12 ERA).
For more information on Pitt baseball, follow the media relations Twitter account at @PittBaseballACC and the coaching staff at @PITTBASEBALL.
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