May 8, 2013
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (37-11) defeated Ohio (12-35), 6-5, this evening at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex.
“Once again tonight it was a very competitive game,” head coach Joe Jordano said. “Ohio played very well. They pitched it well, came up with some big hits and played clean defensively and we were fortunate to get the win tonight.”
Matt Wotherspoon (JR/Mountain Top, Pa.) (8-1) earned the win pitching in relief, while Joseph Harvey (SO/Audobon, Pa.) locked down his fifth save of the year. Brad Przebieda (0-1) took the loss for the Bobcats.
Ohio had a chance to get on the board in the top of the first but with two outs the Panthers were able to gun down a runner at the plate when Evan Oswald (SR/Butler, Pa.) cut off a throw from Stephen Vranka (JR/Monroeville, Pa.) and rifled the ball to the plate to get the runner before he could even begin his slide.
Pitt took the momentum from the 8-6-2 putout to the dish in the home half of the inning as it scored a pair. Vranka led off the inning by getting hit in the back. He was followed by Elvin Soto (SO/New York, N.Y.) ripping a single into center. A double steal put runners on second and third for Boo Vazquez (SO/Youngtown, Ohio) who delivered a double to left center to give the Panthers the early 2-0 lead.
The Bobcats got on the scoreboard in the top of the third when they brought a run across to cut the Pitt lead in half at 2-1.
The Panthers added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. John Peluso (SR/Bethlehem, Pa.) led off by drawing a walk before Sam Parente (SR/Pittston, Pa.) sent a double over the head of the right fielder to put runners on second and third with no outs. Oswald drew a walk to load the bases and was followed by Dylan Wolsonovich (FR/Ford City, Pa.) who hit a ball to right field for a sacrifice fly and RBI. Vranka then came to the dish and reached on a fielder’s choice to bring another run across the plate making the score 4-1.
Casey Roche’s (JR/Downingtown, Pa.) day on the mound ended after 4.0 innings of three hit ball with one earned and a strikeout for a no decision.
Ohio scored a run in the top of the fifth off of J.R. Leonardi (JR/Pittsburgh, Pa.), who came out of the pen in relief of Roche.
Pitt got the run back in the home half of the inning as Parente lifted another double over the head of the Bobcat right fielder to score Steven Shelinsky Jr. (JR/Yardley, Pa.) and push the lead back to three runs.
The Bobcats were able to get three runs off of Wotherspoon in the top of the sixth to tie the score before the Panthers retook the lead in the bottom of the inning when Roche doubled into the gap to score Vranka and make the score 6-5.
Ethan Mildren (JR/Hopwood, Pa.) came out of the pen in relief for the seventh and retired the Ohio batters in order.
In the top of the eighth, Rhys Aldenhoven (JR/Victoria, Australia) pitched for Pitt and got out of the inning unscathed to hold the lead for the Panthers.
Harvey came out in the ninth and wrapped up the game for Pitt. After taking advantage of a clutch out at third from Soto on an attempted steal by the Bobcats, Harvey was able to get Tyler Wells to fly out to Roche in foul ground to secure the Panthers’ 37th win of the season.
“We feel very good about where we’re at but also know that we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to go,” Jordano said. “It’s back to practice tomorrow to prepare for Villanova this weekend.”
The Panthers will be back in action on Friday, May 10, at 6 p.m. when they kick off their final home series in the Big East against Villanova at Cost Field.