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Pitt Baseball Tops Boston College 5-4; Sets up Rubber Game

Steven Shelinsky, Jr.

Steven Shelinsky, Jr.

May 3, 2014

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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (20-24, 10-13 ACC) defeated Boston College (20-28, 9-17 ACC) by the score of 5-4 on Saturday afternoon at Pellagrini Field to set up a rubber game in Sunday's series finale.

The game's winning run came on a bases loaded sacrifice fly from Steven Shelinsky, Jr. in the top of the seventh inning. Both A.J. Lardo and Dylan Wolsonovich scored two runs, while Matt Johnson and Manny Pazos contributed an RBI along with Shelinsky. Starting pitcher Joseph Harvey pitched 5.2 innings and allowed nine hits and four runs, two of which were earned. T.J. Zeuch (2-4, 2.80 ERA) pitched the remaining 3.1 innings and did not allow a hit while striking out four BC batters en route to the earning the victory.

"Today was a really well played game. Coming off of yesterday's loss, which was a tough one, I told our guys to keep battling and good things would happen," head coach Joe Jordano said. "We got some clutch hits and had that suicide squeeze. We took advantage of some opportunities that were presented. Joe [Harvey], who has been outstanding for us, didn't have his best stuff today but I thought he battled and did a great job of giving us an opportunity and of course T.J. [Zeuch] came in and did an outstanding job to secure the win."


 

 

The Panthers wasted little time getting on the board as they plated two runs in the top of the first inning. Stephen Vranka led off the game with a walk, and then A.J Lardo was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second.

After a double steal by Vranka and Lardo moved both of them into scoring position, Boo Vazquez hit a grounder to BC first baseman John Hennessy which Hennessy threw away at home trying to get Vranka out and that allowed Lardo to score as well for a 2-0 lead.  

The Eagles got one run back in the bottom of the second inning when their 6-7-8 hitters put together three consecutive one out hits, including an RBI single from Hennessy which made the score 2-1. BC's fourth hit of the inning would load the bases with two outs, but Harvey got Blake Butera to foul out which ended the threat.

The Eagles would then take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third. Chris Shaw's single was followed by a double from Michael Strem to put runners on second and third. After Harvey hit Tom Bourbon to load the bases with one out, Johnny Adams hit one down the first base line only to see Steven Shelinsky, Jr. make a diving stop and get the force at first. One run would score on the play, but Shelinsky saved a couple of runs by keeping the ball in the infield. The next batter was Hennessy and his grounder to Dylan Wolsonovich at short was bobbled which allowed another run to score, however, Wolsonovich recovered the play and threw Bourbon out at home who was also trying to score which ended the inning.

Pitt came right back in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3 on an RBI suicide squeeze from Manny Pazos. Wolsonovich and Caleb Parry opened the inning with back-to-back walks and were then sacrificed over by Matt Johnson. Pazos then laid down a perfect suicide squeeze to score Wolsonovich from third.

Johnson then gave Pitt a 4-3 advantage in the sixth inning with an RBI double which scored Wolsonovich who led off the inning with a walk. But the Eagles would once again tie the game as John Hennessy scored from third base on a wild pitch with two outs in the home half of the sixth.

But the Panthers scored the game's final run in the seventh inning after getting their first three batters aboard. Lardo led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch (again), and then back-to-back singles from Casey Roche and Boo Vazquez loaded the bases for Shelinsky who drove the ball out to center which was deep enough to score Lardo.

That go-ahead run would be all the insurance Zeuch needed as he retired all 10 batters he faced in the final 3.1 innings of the game.

The Panthers look to take one step closer to qualifying for the ACC Tournament by winning the series with Boston College tomorrow. First pitch is set for Noon. Click here for live stats.