May 1, 2010
PITTSBURGH - Pitt's 24th-ranked baseball team (31-11, 13-4 Big East) split a doubleheader with No. 13 Connecticut (35-9, 14-3 Big East) Saturday evening at Trees Field with game one going to Connecticut 11-7 and the Panthers winning game two, 13-4.
In the two games combined, Zach Duggan (Cranberry, Pa./Seneca Valley) was an impressive 5-for-8 (.625) with six runs batted in and three runs scored. Duggan recorded just his second home run of the season and had a slugging percentage of 1.125.
The Panthers got off to a slow start in game one, finding themselves down 8-1 at the end of five innings. Pitt's lone run in those first five innings came off a leadoff solo homerun by David Chester (Collinsville, Okla./Seminole CC) to center field in the second.
Pitt rallied in the sixth with a four-hit, four-run outing. The rally began with two outs on the board, starting with a Cory Brownsten (Lockport, N.Y./Monroe CC) double to left center. Duggan followed that up with a double to bring home Brownsten from second. John Schultz (West Lawn, Pa./Wilson West Lawn) brought in two runs on a double and Joe Leonard rounded out the scoring with an RBI triple to cut the lead to 8-5 after six.
In the top of the seventh, the Huskies added two runs on three hits. Pitt again cut that deficit in the bottom of the inning. Pitt's first run of the inning came home on a Connecticut wild pitch. The Panthers cut the lead to 10-7 on a Duggan RBI single to second base.
Connecticut capped off its scoring for the night in the top of the eighth with a Mike Nemeth RBI double for the 11-7 lead.
Corey Baker (New City, N.Y./Clarkstown South) suffered just his second loss of the season (9-2), pitching 5.0 innings while giving up eight runs on 12 hits. In the game, Travis Whitmore (Burlington, Iowa/Indian Hills CC) and Brownsten each hit 3-for-5. Duggan was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
In game two, the tides were turned. The Panthers jumped out early, taking a 3-0 lead with two runs in the bottom of the first, and an additional run in the second. A Kevan Smith RBI single, and a Whitmore RBI single put Pitt up 2-0. Duggan's single in the second inning gave Pitt the 3-0 advantage.
The Huskies threatened in the top of the third as they tied up the game at 3-3. An RBI single and a two-run homer evened it all up at three.
In the bottom of the fourth, Pitt opened up the game with a six-run inning. Pitt's first four batters reached base with a Brownsten double, a Phil Konieczny single, a Ronald Sucre RBI double and a three-run Duggan homer. Chester recorded his second homerun of the day with a two-RBI shot to left field to lift Pitt to the 9-3 lead.
The Panthers recorded an additional three runs in the bottom of the fifth, beginning with Pitt's third homerun of the night - a leadoff shot by Konieczny (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe) to right field. Schultz doubled down the right field line to bring home Duggan, and Schultz eventually scored on a wild pitch to give Pitt the 12-3 lead.
Pitt added one more run in the bottom of the eighth on a Smith (Cranberry, Pa./Seneca Valley) sacrifice fly to center field, giving the Panthers the 13-3 lead.
Connecticut's rally in the ninth was cut short as an RBI double was all they were able to muster, leaving two runners on base.
Matt Iannazzo had an outstanding outing for the Panthers, with a four-run complete game victory. Iannazzo (Norwalk, Conn./Norwalk) allowed nine hits, while striking out four batters.
Duggan and Leonard (Dawson, Pa./Connellsville) were both 3-for-5 on the night and Koneiczny was 3-for-4. Leonard scored three runs, while Duggan drove in four.
Pitt and Connecticut will meet up for the rubber game on Sunday at noon at Trees Field.