May 19, 2012
PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh baseball team dropped its regular season finale to Louisville 9-5 on Saturday at Charles L. Cost Field, but the Panthers did enough down the stretch to qualify for the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament in Clearwater, Fla.
With the loss, Pitt needed losses from Villanova and West Virginia and a win by Georgetown to force a three-way tie for the eighth and final spot in the tournament. The Panthers won that tiebreaker by having the best record in all of the games played by those three teams.
“Although today did not go our way, I thought we played hard all weekend. Louisville is an outstanding team with a tremendous staff. We had our opportunities to win on Thursday and simply did not finish the game," Jordano said. "I am pleased though that our seniors, all of whom have had great careers at Pitt, Matt Iannazzo, Anthony Defabio and Rick Devereaux, will have the opportunity to play for a championship. They are great players and even better kids. It was a privledge to coach them.”
The Panthers will get another crack at Louisville as that is who they will play in the first round of the tournament. The Cardinals clinched the top seed with a St. John's loss on Saturday.
Pitt was able to keep the Louisville bats fairly quiet in the first two games, but the top statistical lineup in the conference came to life in the series finale. The Cardinals win was highlighted by a six-run fourth inning.
The Panthers have been hitting well as of late and continued to do so in a losing effort, scoring five runs, three earned, on 12 hits. Four straight hitters in their lineup - Devereaux, Boo Vazquez, Casey Roche and Sam Parente -had two hits apiece.
Roche had a great series, going 8-14 with four doubles and two walks. For Vazquez it was the sixth time in seven games he has had two hits, while Devereaux takes a 11-game hitting streak and 19-game on-base streak into the postseason.