April 26, 2009
PITTSBURGH — Today’s rubber match between the University of Pittsburgh and Rutgers University followed the same game plan as yesterday’s doubleheader – let the offense settle the game. The Panthers produced 12 runs on 15 hits with eight players recording at least one hit on the day.
Josh Smith (3-0) picked up his third win of the season and remained unbeaten after throwing five and a third stellar innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out two. Chris Tonte finished the game 2-for-4 with a game-high four RBI while and Kevan Smith extended his hitting streak 12 games and finished the day 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Smith’s two-run blast in the second inning put Pitt (22-14, 9-9 Big East) up 2-0 in the bottom of the second. Zach Duggan’s RBI single up the middle pushed the lead to 3-0 before Rutgers’ offense jumped into action.
The Scarlet Knights (17-24, 4-14 Big East) platted four runs in both the third and fourth innings. Jarred Jimenez continued to dial in on the Panther pitchers, sending a David Kaye offering over the left field wall for his third home run of the series. Jaren Matthews added to the Rutgers run total with a two-run homer in the fourth, forcing Pitt to turn to the bullpen early on.
Ryan Dunford entered with one out and quickly loaded the bases, giving up a double to Jimenez before hitting Jayon Hernandez and Luis Feliz. After D.J. Anderson reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Jimenez, Dunford walked Brandon Boykin and Michael Lang, bringing the score to 8-5 in favor of the visitors.
Tonte’s double to left scored two runs to cut the lead to 8-7 before John Schultz singled in the tying run.
After scoring twice in the fifth to take a 10-8 lead, Tonte put the finishing touches on Pitt’s fourth Big East series win with a two-run blast to left center.
Pitt will be in action this week with five games in the next seven days, starting with a non-conference game against Penn State on Tuesday, April 28. First pitch at Trees Field is scheduled for 6 p.m.