May 14, 2009
PITTSBURGH -- The University of Pittsburgh baseball team moved one step closer to punching its ticket to the 2009 Big East Conference Championship tournament with a 9-1 win today over visiting West Virginia University. The Panthers pounded out 15 hits and kept the Big East's leading offensive lineup in check the length of the game.
Starting pitcher Nate Reed (4-5) won his second straight game in league play, working a complete-game, allowing just one run - unearned - and 10 hits while striking out seven and walking just one Mountaineer batter. Chris Tonte and Chris Sedon both jacked two home runs while John Schultz added one to give Pitt five on the day.
Kevan Smith tied the longest hitting streak by a Panther in the past decade with a leadoff double to left center. Smith finished the day 2-for-4 and has now hit in 19 straight games this season.
Reed's counterpart, Jarryd Summers, struck out seven but allowed three runs in four and two-thirds innings. His wild pitch in the bottom of the third allowed Tonte to score from third and give Pitt the early 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, Tonte hit the first of his two home runs on the day over the center field wall, extending the Panther lead to 2-0. Schultz walked and stole second before scoring on a Joe Leonard double down the left field line to make it 3-0.
The Mountaineers loaded the bases in the top half of the sixth on singles by Austin Markel and Jedd Gyorko and a walk from Dan DiBartolomeo. Sedon robbed Tobias Streich of at least a two-run base hit, making a diving play on a grounder and firing to first for the third out.
The Panthers gave Reed plenty of breathing room after a four-run seventh that featured home runs from Tonte and Sedon. Schultz singled up the middle after Tonte hit his second solo shot of the day. Schultz advanced to second on a Justin Ellis wild pitch before Sedon stepped to the plate and launched a shot over the right field wall, bringing the score to 6-0. Leonard singled and eventually made it a 7-0 game, scoring on a Frank Mercurio single through the left side.
Schultz and Sedon went back-to-back in the eighth to push the lead to 9-0. Schultz crushed an Ellis offering over the right field wall while Sedon hit his second jack of the day off reliever Marcus Broadwater, a towering shot to left.
Three straight singles to start the WVU ninth loaded the bases for the second time. An error by Tonte at short allowed DiBartolomeo to score, ending the shutout for Reed and put some wind into the sails of the Mountaineers. The wind quickly died down however, as Justin Parks ground into the game-ending five-four-three double play.
The Panthers and Mountaineers will meet again on the diamond tomorrow, May 15th, for game two of their scheduled three-game set. First pitch tomorrow is set for 3 p.m. at Trees Field.