May 26, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. — The University of Pittsburgh baseball team dropped its tournament-opening game against the sixth-seeded Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University, 9-5, here today at Bright House Field.
Corey Baker (11-3) was charged with the loss after giving up 16 hits and nine runs over six innings. Baker threw a season-high 130 pitches in the effort for Pitt (37-17).
Rutgers (29-24) jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first inning of play. RBI base hits by Ryan Kapp and Jarred Jimenez and a two-run double by Russ Hopkins paved the way for a five-hit, four-run first inning for the Scarlet Knights.
RU continued its momentum in the top half of the second, tacking on another five runs on six hits, extending its lead to 9-0 through two.
Rutgers’ starting pitcher Casey Gaynor cruised through the first four innings, yielding just a base-hit to Kevan Smith to lead off the second.
Smith picked up his second hit of the day, leading off the fifth with a single down the right-field line and David Chester was hit by a pitch to put a Panther in scoring position for the first time on the day. Travis Whitmore’s bloop single to center field loaded the bases with no outs. Cory Brownsten flew out to center and Sean Toole struck out before Zach Duggan’s two-RBI base knock to left field got the Panthers on the board and cut into the deficit at 9-2.
Danny Lopez singled down the left-field line to start the sixth before John Schultz doubled off the wall in left to put runners on second and third with no outs. Joe Leonard’s 100th hit of the season, a single up the middle, drove both runners in and cut the Rutgers lead to 9-4. After back-to-back fly outs by Smith and Chester, Whitmore singled to center to put runners on the corners. Brownsten’s base-hit through the left side drove in Leonard and brought the score to 9-5 after six complete innings.
Cole Taylor came on in the seventh and allowed just three base runners and gave up just two hits over three innings of work.
After cutting the lead to four following the sixth inning, Pitt couldn’t rally in the late innings, putting together just four hits and grounding into one of three double plays on the day.
The Panthers will be back in action tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. here at Bright House Field. Pitt will take on the loser of the No. 2 Connecticut vs. No. 7 Cincinnati game.