April 28, 2013
PITTSBURGH – Ronald Sucre (SR/Miami, Fla.) drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to score the game-winning run as No. 23 Pitt (32-10, 12-3 Big East) bested Cincinnati (17-25, 4-14 Big East), 10-9, to complete a weekend sweep on a rainy afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field.
“Obviously that was not our best performance,” said head coach Joe Jordano. “Quite frankly, I was disappointed with the way that we played today. However, when you’re down 8-0 and come back to win a ballgame in walk-off fashion that does show some character.”
Jon Danielczyk (SR/Erie, Pa.) (2-0) earned the win after tossing 4.1 innings in relief allowing three hits and an unearned run while striking out three. Thomas Gentile (3-1) took the loss for Cincinnati.
“Jon came in and just did a really good job for us,” Jordano said. “He came in, threw strikes and gave us an opportunity.”
Cincinnati scored the first eight runs of the contest before Pitt finally struck in the bottom of the fifth inning. Boo Vazquez (SO/Youngstown, Ohio) led off the inning with a double into right field and moved to third on a wild pitch. Steven Shelinsky Jr. (JR/Yardley, Pa.) then got plunked with a pitch to put runners on the corners with no outs. Another wild pitch allowed Vazquez to score the Panthers’ first run and move Shelinsky into scoring position. Following a strikeout, Sam Parente (SR/Pittston, Pa.) came to the dish and smashed the first pitch he saw deep over the wall in left field for a homerun to cut the UC lead to 8-3.
Following a scoreless top of the sixth thrown by Danielczyk, the Panthers added five more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Stephen Vranka (JR/Monroeville, Pa.) led off the inning by doubling to center field. Eric Hess (SO/Erie, Pa.) then reached on an error by the Bearcats’ third baseman to put runners on the corners with no outs and chasing UC starter Grant Walker from the game.
With a new pitcher in, Vranka scored on a wild pitch and Hess eventually moved to third on another wild pitch. After the first out of the inning, Vazquez and Shelinksy drew walks to load the bases prompting another call to the pen.
Bryan Chenoweth came out of the Cincinnati pen and got the next batter to harmlessly pop out to second. Parente then came to the dish and roped a single through the right side of infield for a pair of RBIs. Another wild pitch moved Shelinsky and Parente to second and third and the pair were brought home on a rip into left field from Evan Oswald (SR/Butler, Pa.) which tied the game.
The rain came down even harder following the sixth and caused an hour and forty minute rain delay prior to the start of the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh, Danielczyk got into trouble after an error put runners on the corners with one out. Danielczyk then got Jeff Murray to ground into a fielder’s choice to first where Hess gunned down the lead runner at the plate for the second out. The junior pitcher then got out of the inning in style with a four pitch strikeout of Brendon Neel.
Pitt took its first lead of the ballgame in the home half of the seventh when Vazquez roped a double down the line in right field to bring home Hess who had doubled earlier in the inning making the score 9-8 in favor of the Panthers.
After the Bearcats scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth to tie the game, Pitt was able to capture its second-consecutive walk off victory when Sucre drew the game-winning walk.
Casey Roche (JR/Downingtown, Pa.) started the Panther rally with a one out single into center field. Vazquez then ripped a 3-1 pitch through the right side to move the winning run into scoring position. Following the second out of the inning, the UC manager decided to intentionally walk Elvin Soto (SO/New York, N.Y.) to load the bases brining Sucre to the dish. Gentile quickly fell behind 2-0 before working the count even. Sucre then took a pair of inside pitches to earn the walk and game-winning RBI as Pitt wrapped up its third-straight Big East sweep.
The Panthers will return to action on Tuesday, April 30, when they travel to Morgantown, W. Va., to face rival West Virginia in a 6 p.m. midweek contest.