April 30, 2011
PITTSBURGH – The Pitt baseball team rallied to score three runs in the eighth inning to take game one of a doubleheader against Cincinnati, 9-8, Saturday afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Senior Kevan Smith blasted a towering three-run homer over the left-center field scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Panthers a 9-8 lead. Sophomore Ray Black followed by striking out the side in order to earn the save.
The Panthers (26-13, 12-4 BIG EAST) jumped out to an early four run lead after the first inning.
Smith drove in the first run with an RBI single to left. Junior Rick Devereaux followed with an RBI single that ended up scoring two runs after an errant throw by the Cincinnati centerfielder. With Devereaux at third, senior Travis Whitmore brought home the fourth run with a single to right.
Cincinnati (22-17, 8-8 BIG EAST) rallied to cut the deficit to two runs and eventually took the lead in the seventh inning, 8-7. Chris Peters and Justin Glass each added four hits in the loss.
With the Panthers trailing by two in the eighth, Smith came to the plate with runners at first and second. The Cranberry Twp. native connected on the first pitch and sent it well over the 375’ wall in left-center.
Whitmore led the Panthers with three hits and added two RBI while sophomore Alex Caravella (4-2) earned the win, pitching two innings in relief.
Senior John Schultz made two stellar defensive plays in the game, twice robbing the Bearcats of runs. In the bottom of the second, Schultz threw out the Bearcats runner attempting to score from second with a bullet throw to home plate. In the top of the eighth inning, Schultz started a perfectly executed 7-5-2 relay that nabbed the would-be runner at home.
The teams will resume action with the second game of the twin-billing, slated to start at 3:30 p.m.