April 27, 2013
PITTSBURGH – Boo Vazquez (SO/Youngstown, Ohio) scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as Pitt (31-10, 11-3 Big East) defeated Cincinnati (17-24, 4-13 Big East), 4-3, in the second game of a double header this afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex.
“It’s good to get two wins today,” said head coach Joe Jordano. “I think both teams, coming off of finals, were a little rusty. I do think both teams played hard and that those were two very solid, hard played, ball games and we’re fortunate to be on the winning end of both of them.”
Joe Harvey (SO/Audbon, Pa.) (2-1) recorded the win in relief for Pitt while Andrew Strenge (1-5) took the loss for Cincinnati.
The Bearcats struck first with a runs in the top of the fourth and fifth innings before Pitt responded with a pair in the home half of the fifth to tie the game.
With two outs in the frame, Evan Oswald (SR/Butler, Pa.) smashed his second homerun of the season over the wall in left to cut the UC lead in half. The Panthers then strung together three consecutive singles to manufacture another run. Stephen Vranka (JR/Monroeville, Pa.) and Eric Hess (SO/Erie, Pa.) had the first two hits before Casey Roche (JR/Downingtown, Pa.) brought Vranka home with a rope that went off the extended glove of the Bearcats’ shortstop into center for the game-tying RBI.
The Panthers took the lead the next inning when, following Elvin Soto’s (SO/New York, N.Y.) second triple of the game, Sam Parente (SR/Pittston, Pa.) sent a fly ball to right field which was deep enough to score Soto and make the score 3-2.
Matt Wotherspoon (JR/Mountain Top, Pa.) was able to hold the lead with a 1-2-3 seventh inning which ended his day with a solid line of 7.0 innings pitched, seven hits, two earned and five strikeouts.
Cincinnati was able to get to the Panthers’ bullpen in the top of the eighth tying the game.
The Bearcats threatened again by loading the bases with two outs in the top of the ninth but Pitt got out of the jam when UC sent the lead runner towards home on a steal attempt. Fortunately for the Panthers, Harvey noticed in time and rifled the ball to Soto at home who applied the tag getting Pitt out of the inning with no damage done.
With one out in the Panthers’ half of the ninth, Jordano brought in Vazquez to pinch hit and the sophomore delivered with a single through the right side of the infield. Following another out, Vranka came through, slapping a 2-1 pitch into right for a single moving Vazquez into scoring position at second. Hess then came to the plate and sharply hit a 2-2 pitch to the Bearcat shortstop who couldn’t make the flip to second base in time to record the force-out of the speedy Vranka. While Vranka was beating the throw into second, Vazquez alertly rounded third and slid into home for the game-winning run setting off a celebration at home plate.
“It will be a quick turnaround with the weather as we’ll play at 10 a.m. tomorrow so it’s going to again be a grinder,” said Jordano. “We just have to make the transition and keep doing the things that we need to do to give ourselves a chance to win ball games. We look forward to the opportunity tomorrow.”
The Panthers and Bearcats will be back in action tomorrow when they wrap up their series with a 10 a.m. contest.