May 15, 2012
NILES, Ohio – Alex Caravella won his fourth consecutive start, going six innings in Pitt’s 5-2 win at Youngstown State on Tuesday. The Panthers have won four straight games against non-conference opponents.
Caravella improved to 4-5 on the season, but only one of those losses came as a starter. He combined with J.R. Leonardi to strike out 12 Youngstown State hitters, and the only run he allowed was unearned.
Leonardi pitched the final three innings to become the seventh Pitt pitcher with a save this season. He struck out five and allowed one earned run.
“It was a solid game today. Caravella pitched well and went six strong and J.R. did a nice job in relief,” said Pitt head coach Joe Jordano, who clinched his 11th season of a .500 or record better in 15 years at Pitt. “There were over 4,000 school kids in the stadium so it was a great atmosphere with a lot of energy.”
The Panthers broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the sixth inning. Evan Oswald and Anthony Defabio had the big hits, each driving in two runs with singles. Sam Parente and Casey Roche also had singles in the inning, while Boo Vazquez and Derik Wilson were hit by pitches.
“We came up with the big hits at the right time, that was the difference. It was good to get back in the win column,” Jordano said. “We will have a solid workout tomorrow and look forward to a tremendous challenge against Louisville beginning on Thursday.”
Vazquez continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. The freshman has multiple hits in four straight games, tallying eight hits in 13 at-bats during that time to raise his season average to .317, good enough for second best on the team.
The Panthers had 10 hits in the game, improving to 20-8 on the season when they out-hit their opponent. Wilson had two of the team’s three extra-base hits with a double and a triple.
It was the final away game of the season for Pitt, which finished 12-12 on the road. The Panthers will wrap up the regular season with home games against Louisville on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They are tied for ninth, just one game back of Villanova for the final spot in the BIG EAST Tournament.