May 25, 2012
CLEARWATER, Fla. - In a game that ended over six hours after the first pitch, the Pitt baseball season came to an end on Thursday night with a 12-5 loss to USF in the Big East Tournament.
The Bulls jumped out to a 6-0 lead with no outs in the top of the third inning before play was halted for over three and a half hours due to inclement weather. Once play resumed, they tacked on four more runs to take a 10-0 lead.
Pitt had a big inning of its own, scoring four runs in the fifth, but the deficit was too large as the Panthers wrapped up their season at 28-28. Pitt head coach Jordano has now finished .500 or better in 11 of his 15 seasons with the Panthers and has led the team to four straight postseason appearances.
It was the final game for three seniors, who all wrapped up great careers at Pitt. Rick Devereaux (First Team All-Big East) and Anthony Defabio (Third Team All-Big East) both had multiple hits, while Matt Iannazzo (Third Team All-Big East) started and pitched in his final game in the team’s tournament opener on Wednesday.
“I’m very proud of Anthony, Rick and Matt. They all had a big impact on our program. We’re very appreciative of how hard they worked,” Jordano said.
With his two hits, Devereaux finishes his career with a 13-game hitting streak and 29 game on-base streak. He concluded the season as the team leader in average (.372), hits (86), home runs (7), RBI (54), total bases (124) and slugging (.537).
DeFabio also led the team in numerous statistical categories, including on-base percentage (.448), runs (53), walks (31) and hit-by-pitches (17). His all-conference honor this season was the second of his career. DeFabio was also one of the team’s top performers in the classroom, earning Academic All-District for the second time in his career.
“When Rick and Anthony came over from Duquesne it was great to give them an opportunity to play for us,” Jordano said. “They blended in so well and did such a great job for us.”
Iannazzo finished the year at 7-4 and ends his career as the program’s all-time wins leader with a record of 28-12. He has been the go-to Pitt pitcher in big games, including the first round of the postseason in each of the past two seasons.
“Being the all-time wins leader in Pitt history, that’s very special,” Jordano said of Iannazzo. “He should be very proud of that. We’re going to miss him.”
Freshman Boo Vazquez had another big game for Pitt with two hits, including a triple, and three RBI. He had multiple hits in seven of his last nine games and will take a nine-game hitting streak into next season. Sam Parente will also enter next year looking to carry over a hitting streak. He has hit safely in eight consecutive games and has reached base in 17 straight contests.
Vazquez drove in two runs in the Panthers’ four-run inning, while DeFabio and Casey Roche each knocked in one. The team finished with 10 hits, including one by Jonathan Danielczyk in his first at-bat of the season.
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