April 27, 2014
PINE BLUFF, Ark. - The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (19-22) defeated Arkansas Pine Bluff (18-25) twice on Saturday evening by the scores of 3-2 and 4-2 at Taylor Field.
Redshirt senior pitcher Jon Danielczyk (4-0, 2.95 ERA) recorded the save in game one, and then pitched five innings of relief work in game two en route to picking up his fourth win of the season and establishing a new career-high with six strikeouts.
Fellow senior pitcher Matt Wotherspoon (5-5, 4.64 ERA) was just as effective as he went seven strong innings in the opening game, allowing just four hits and striking out seven Golden Lion batters.
"Taking into consideration that we left campus at 3 a.m., arrived in Little Rock around Noon and grinded out two wins today says a lot about the mental toughness of our players," head coach Joe Jordano said. "Matt [Wotherspoon] pitched really well today as did Hobie Harris and Danielczyk. Joe [Harvey] was battling some dehydration and we had to unexpectedly take him out in the second game, but I thought he gave one of his best efforts considering his circumstances.
"Offensively I thought we did some good things. Steven [Shelinsky, Jr.] and Boo [Vazquez] went yard and we had some timely hits down the stretch. That was one heck of a day and quite possibly one of the longest I have ever coached. I was pleased how we battled and we look forward to getting out there tomorrow."
Game One: Pitt 3, Arkansas Pine Bluff 2
Pitt overcame six fielding errors and withstood a ninth inning rally as the Panthers held on to defeat Arkansas Pine Bluff 3-2 in the opening game of the doubleheader.
It took the Panthers until the fourth inning to get a hit, but a one out double to right center from Casey Roche was followed by an RBI single up the middle from Boo Vazquez which gave Pitt a 1-0 lead. The RBI from Vazquez was his team-best 35th of the season.
Pitt then doubled its lead in the top of the fifth inning courtesy of a two out RBI double from Stephen Vranka which scored Matt Johnson from second base. Johnson and Manny Pazos put together back-to-back one out singles which put Johnson in scoring position, and then Vranka roped a double off the left field fence which scored Johnson for a 2-0 advantage.
After Wotherspoon worked himself out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth inning, Steven Shelinsky, Jr. absolutely crushed an offering from UAPB starting pitcher Jim Ploeger over the scoreboard in left field, which put Pitt up 3-0 in the top of the sixth.
With the Panthers taking a 3-0 lead to the bottom of the ninth inning, Pitt opened the frame by committing three-consecutive fielding errors at short, third and second base, in that order. The third error in that sequence allowed UAPB to cross the plate for their first run, and the Lions would also add a sac fly to make the score 3-2 with one out.
After a fielder's choice recoded the second out of the inning, Jordano went with Danielczyk from the bull pen to face the Reigning SWAC Player of the Year Isias Alcantar, who represented the winning run. Danielczyk got Alcantar to ground out as he picked up his second save of the season and preserved the Pitt victory.
Game Two: Pitt 4, Arkansas Pine Bluff 2 (Seven Innings)
Boo Vazquez launched a two-run homer in the top of the first inning and Pitt would add two insurance runs in the seventh as the Panthers defeated UAPB 4-2 in game two of the doubleheader.
Stephen Vranka led off the game with a walk and then Vazquez smacked his sixth home run of the season over the center field fence to give Pitt a 2-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Joseph Harvey got into some trouble in the bottom of the third inning as the Golden Lions opened the frame with four consecutive hits, including an RBI single from first baseman Andre Davis which made the score 2-1 and chased Harvey from the game.
Inheriting a bases loaded, no out situation, Danielczyk entered the contest and pitched brilliantly. The submariner got out of the threat in the third by getting a fielder's choice ground out and two strike outs to keep Pitt in front 2-1. Danielczyk allowed just one hit and while fanning a career-high six batters.
Pitt added two insurances runs in the game's final inning which proved to be crucial. Designated player Nick Yarnell led off the inning with a single and then two batters later pinch runner A.J. Lardo was brought home on an RBI single from Dylan Wolsonovich. Wolsonovich would then cross the plate when Matt Johnson reached base on a fielding error by UAPB pitcher Redmond Floyd.
The Golden Lions scored an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning as Jose Hernandez crossed the plate from third as Jason Ibrahim was in a run down between first and second, but Danielczyk ended the game with a pop out and groundout to complete the sweep.
The Panthers and the Golden Lions will conclude their three games series tomorrow at Noon at the Torii Hunter Baseball Complex. With weather potentially playing a factor tomorrow, be sure to check www.pittsburghpanthers.com and @PittBaseballACC for all the latest updates.