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May 12, 2010

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PITTSBURGH - Duquesne used a late rally to earn a 10-9 win over the 22nd-ranked Pitt baseball team Wednesday afternoon in the final game in the team's long-standing cross-town rivalry.

Junior first baseman David Chester (Collinsville, Okla./Seminole CC) knocked in his 13th homerun of the season as well as batted in three runs and had an additional hit in the Pitt loss.

Each team used five pitchers in the back-and-forth contest, with Chris Happ earning the win for the Dukes giving up no runs and no hits in the final 1.1 innings of action, while Pitt's J.R. Leonardi (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Alderdice) suffered the heartbreaker as he pitched just 0.2 innings and gave up one run on one hit.

After holding the Panthers scoreless in the top of the first, Duquesne got off to a quick start, scoring five runs on four hits in the first inning.

Looking to get on the board, junior designated hitter Kevan Smith (Cranberry, Pa./Seneca Valley) singled to right field. Junior right fielder Phil Konieczny (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe) was credited with an RBI single, bringing Smith home from third and cutting the Duquesne lead to 5-1.

In the third, Chester struck with an RBI double, bringing it to 5-2 in favor of the Dukes. Adding another run was Smith with a single to center field with runners on the corners and nobody out. Junior second baseman Travis Whitmore (Burlington, Iowa/Indian Hills CC) brought in Chester to cut the Duquesne lead to one at 5-4.

Getting the Panthers going in the fourth was senior shortstop Danny Lopez (Queens, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) who led off with a single. Junior left fielder John Schultz (West Lawn, Pa./Wilson) sent a fly ball off the center field fence with an RBI triple, knotting the game up at five. Chester came to the plate with his clutch bat and delivered a two-run homer, giving the Panthers the lead, 7-5.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Dukes were able to squeeze in a run, despite the defense efforts of the Panther outfielders and second baseman Whitmore, who was able to nail to runner heading into third base, ending the inning. Still, the Panthers had the lead 7-6.

Whitmore's efforts continued in the sixth, hitting a triple to center. Senior catcher Cory Brownsten (Lockport,N.Y./Monroe CC) brought Whitmore home to extend the lead to 8-6.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Dukes had the bases loaded twice in the inning and were able to come away with a run, cutting the Pitt lead to 8-7. Freshman pitcher Alex Caravella (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley) came on in relief and got out of the inning by striking out a batter with the bases loaded.

Caravella came back to the mound in the seventh striking out all three Dukes batters in order, all swinging.

Heading into the eighth, Brownsten reached third by reaching on a single, followed by two Duquesne throwing errors, which advanced him to third. On a determined decision, Brownsten charged home on a wild pitch and was ruled safe, making it 9-7.

The Dukes would rally in the eighth, scoring three runs on two hits, including the winning run. The 10th run for Duquesne was scored with the bases loaded for the third time in the game, claiming back the lead 10-9 for good.

In the ninth, the Panthers were unable to muster any offense with Pitt recording no runs on no hits to suffer the 10-9 loss.

With the series split this season, including a 21-9 Pitt victory on April 14, the all-time series between Pitt and Duquesne, which dates back to 1952, will conclude with a 58-22-1 advantage for the Panthers.

Pitt will now travel to Cincinnati to play a three-game series against the Bearcats. Game times are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Panthers Drop Final City Game To Duquesne, 10-9

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