April 22, 2012
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Pitt baseball split its doubleheader at West Virginia on Sunday, cruising to a 14-5 win in the opening game, before dropping the second contest 7-5.
The Panthers broke a 2-2 tie with eight runs in the fourth inning in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader. The game, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, was predetermined for seven innings once the date was changed due to weather.
Matt Iannazzo went the distance to improve to 5-3 on the season, upping his program record in career wins to 26. It was his first complete game of the season and the second in as many days for Pitt as a team.
Iannazzo had plenty of run support from his offense, which did a good job of taking advantage of its scoring opportunities. The Panthers scored their 14 runs on 11 hits and left just four runners on base.
Rick Devereaux homered for the second straight game against the Mountaineers, hitting a grand slam in the fifth inning to provide the final runs of the game for either team.
Every player in the Pitt lineup contributed in some way, either by scoring or driving in a run. Evan Oswald led the way with a perfect 3-for-3 game with three runs scored and two RBI. He drove in his two runs with a triple to right-center field in the Panthers’ eight-run inning.
“I thought the first game we did a really good job. We jumped out on them and got a pretty good lead,” said Pitt head coach Joe Jordano. “We gave some back but Matt (Iannazzo) settled down and did a nice job for us, and we put the game away.”
, Casey Roche
and Elvin Soto
also drove in runs during the big fourth inning, which saw Pitt send 11 batters to the plate and collect seven hits.
Stephen Vranka, who was back in the leadoff spot, had two hits in the game, including one of the team’s two triples. Soto, Anthony Defabio and Derik Wilson drove in two runs apiece.
Pitt came on late, but an early hole proved to be too much as West Virginia won the game and the season series.
The Mountaineers led 7-2 before Pitt rallied with three runs in the eighth inning. The Panthers had double-digit hits again with 10, but this time they left 12 runners on base.
Freshman Boo Vazquez hit his first career home run, a solo shot in the sixth inning. Senior Anthony Defabio added a homer in the eighth inning, his third of the season, all coming in a span of seven days.
But five West Virginia runs in the fifth and sixth innings proved to be the difference, dropping Pitt to 19-20 overall and 4-11 in the conference.
“We got behind a little bit and had a couple of situations we needed to get out of, but we didn’t,” Jordano said. “Overall, though, it was a pretty decent day of baseball.”
Soto paced Pitt in the second game, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Vranka did his part as the leadoff hitter again with a single, double and two runs scored.
With no midweek games this week, the Panthers will get a much-needed rest before resuming conference play with a three-game series against Georgetown. They will host the Hoyas for a doubleheader on Saturday and will wrap up the series at Charles L. Cost Field with the third game on Sunday.
“It’s probably a great time for a break for us right now. We have to heal some things and work on some things to get us ready for our last four series,” Jordano said.