April 25, 2010
The 24th-ranked Pitt baseball team (30-10, 12-3 Big East) completed its three-game series sweep over West Virginia (17-23, 3-12 Big East) Sunday afternoon with a 24-9 domination of the Mountaineers at Hawley Field in Morgantown. Pitt's win gives them just their ninth 30-win season in school history, with 16 regular season games remaining.
Junior centerfielder Zach Duggan (Cranberry, Pa./Seneca Valley) was 6-for-7 from the plate on the day, with four runs batted in and four runs scored. Junior third baseman Joe Leonard was also outstanding on the day, batting 5-for-6 with five RBI and two runs scored. Leonard (Dawson, Pa./Connellsville) also added two doubles and a home run on the day.
Earning the win for the Panthers was Alex Caravella (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley), who pitched 7.0 innings while giving up five runs on seven hits.
The game stayed close early in the game as Pitt took the 3-1 lead in the first inning. A David Chester triple brought in two runs in the inning and a Panther groundout sent home the third.
In the second, singles by Ronald Sucre and Duggan brought home Pitt's two runs in the inning for the 5-1 lead. West Virginia responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs on three hits to cut the Pitt lead to 5-4.
Pitt's third inning broke the game wide open with a seven-run output. Travis Whitmore (Burlington, Iowa/Indian Hills CC) doubled to left center to send home the first two runs of the inning. Phil Konieczny (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe) reached base on a bunt and Whitmore came home due to a throwing error by the pitcher on the same play. Sucre (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) singled through the right side to bring home Konieczny. A fielding error brought home the next two runs and a single to left center by Leonard made the score 12-4 in favor of the Panthers.
West Virginia was able to add just one run in the bottom of the third. Neither team was able to record a run in the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth, Pitt again exploded offensively recording eight runs on seven hits. Pitt's eight runs were scored with two outs in the inning as the first two batters flied out and grounded out. Leonard was the third batter to the plate and hit a home run to left field. Four of the next five runs were scored individually off RBI singles. Leonard earned his second appearance at the plate in the inning, singling and bringing home two runs and giving Pitt the commanding 20-5 lead.
In the top of the top of the sixth, Pitt added two runs including a Konieczny RBI single and a Duggan single to third base, giving the Panthers the 22-5 advantage.
West Virginia scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to cut the score to 22-6, but the Panthers again responded in the top of the eighth. Pitt scored two runs off two hits in the top of the eighth including a double by Duggan and a double by Leonard, both down the left field line.
The Mountaineers added three runs on three hits in the bottom half of the eighth to round out scoring in the game.
The 24 runs marks the most ever scored against West Virginia this season and is the most scored by the Panthers in 2010. It is also the third-highest total runs by Pitt in school history with the record sitting at 36 against IUP in 1953.
Pitt will have the midweek off due to final exams, but will resume action Saturday, May 1 against Connecticut for a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. The matchup between the Panthers and Huskies could determine the regular season Big East champion as UConn enters the weekend in first place - a half game ahead of the Panthers in league standings. The three-game series at Trees Field is set to wrap up Sunday at noon.