May 18, 2012
PITTSBURGH – The race for the final spot in the BIG EAST Tournament will go down to the final day of the regular season, as the Pitt baseball team moved into a tie for eighth place with an 8-2 win over nationally-ranked Louisville on Friday night at Charles L. Cost Field.
Fans can watch Saturday’s regular season finale live on Pitt Panthers Television (Comcast channels 188 and 210) at 1 p.m. as head coach Joe Jordano and the Panthers attempt to clinch a postseason berth for the fourth consecutive season.
Four teams – Pitt, Villanova, West Virginia and Georgetown – are all still in contention for the last playoff spot. Numerous scenarios exist, but the simplest are Villanova is in if it wins and Pitt is in with a win and a Villanova loss. However, there are scenarios where the Panthers could still qualify even if they lose.
“Whatever else happens, happens. We just have to come out and work hard tomorrow and control what we control,” Jordano said. “We’ve preached that from day one. Our whole philosophy is just to focus on the things that we do. That will be no different tomorrow.”
The Panthers were certainly in control of the game Friday night, taking a 2-1 lead after two innings and never looking back on their way to a fairly easy win. Mildren went the distance for the fourth time this season and gave up just one earned run. He scattered nine hits, while striking out seven and walking two.
“It was a very exciting game. I thought we executed extremely well and made some plays today,” Jordano said. “Obviously, Ethan pitched a fantastic game and we got some big hits, so I was very pleased with the performance. It kept us alive.”
Evan Oswald led Pitt’s 13-hit attack with a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate. He helped the Panthers take a lead they would never relinquish, scoring on Anthony DeFabio’s single in the bottom of the second inning.
One day after a 4-for-5 showing against the Cardinals, Casey Roche once again did some damage, going 2-for-4 with two RBI. He put the Panthers up 6-1 with a two-run double in the fourth inning.
Boo Vazquez also had two hits, giving him multiple hits in five of his last six games. Rick Devereaux upped his hitting streak to 10 games and his on-base streak to 18 games with a single. Stephen Vranka, DeFabio, Sam Parente and Derik Wilson all had one hit, while Vranka, DeFabio and Parente each added an RBI.
Saturday’s game will mark the final home contest for Pitt’s three seniors. Matt Iannazzo, Devereaux and DeFabio will all be honored prior to the game. Jordano will also be honored before the first pitch for numerous records and milestones he has achieved this season, including becoming Pitt’s all-time wins leader and eclipsing the 700-win milestone in his career.