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March 8, 2013

PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh baseball team will begin its home season this weekend by hosting the first of two Panther Classics at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10. 

The teams - Pitt (5-4), Youngstown State (3-11) and Manhattan (1-6) - were scheduled to begin play with a double-header on Friday, March 8, but will now start on Saturday, March 9, with triple-headers being played on Saturday and Sunday. A complete schedule of games can be found below.

The Panthers enter the weekend under the offensive leadership of Sam Parente (SR/Pittston, Pa.).  Parente leads the team with a .436 batting average and 17 hits.  He also ranks among the leaders in RBIs (6), runs-scored (6), and doubles (2). Also producing on the offensive end for the Panthers are Eric Hess (SO, Erie, Pa.) and Casey Roche (JR/Downingtown, Pa.).  Hess falls second in batting average (.406) and slugging percentage (.656).  He also leads the team in doubles (5) on the season.  Roche leads the team in runs-scored (14), hits (14) and is joined by Stephen Vranka (JR/Monroeville, Pa.) to lead the team in walks (7).

Pitt is scheduled to take on the Youngstown State on Saturday, March 9, at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 10, at 4:30 p.m. The Panthers own a 19-7-1 series record against Youngstown State and have won eight consecutive contests against the Penguins. Last season, Pitt outscored Youngstown State 14-1 in two victories.

The Penguins, 1-1 in neutral-site competition this season, are coming off of a 10-7 win against Morehead State that snapped their eight-game losing streak. Kris Moules (.354 batting average, two doubles, seven RBI) and Drew Dosch (.340 batting average, .459 on-base percentage, .620 slugging percentage, two home runs, eight RBI, 11 runs, 10 walks) lead Youngstown State at the plate as cornerstones to its offense.

The Panthers will play the Manhattan on Saturday, March 9, at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 10, at 1:30 p.m. Pitt, 1-0 all-time against Manhattan, last played the Jaspers in 2004 and won 15-10.

Manhattan is coming off of a close series against Florida Gulf Coast that featured losses by scores of 1-0 and 3-0 and a win, 6-5. Despite their .180 team batting average, the Jaspers hold six players with one or more home runs on their roster.

Getting the nod for the first home game of the season will be Ethan Mildren (JR/Hopwood, Pa.).  He leads the Panthers with 17 strikeouts and is entering the weekend with a 1-1 record and 4.50 ERA on the season.  In his last start he pitched 5.0 innings and gave up six runs.

Finishing off the usual rotation will be Matt Wotherspoon (JR/Mountain Top, Pa.) and Rhys Aldenhoven (JR/Victoria, Australia).  Wotherspoon will take on Manhattan on Saturday, March 9 with a 1-1 record and a 4.66 ERA and Aldenhoven will return to the mound against Manhattan on Sunday, March 10 with a 1-0 record and a 4.24 ERA.  With the double-header on Sunday, Alex Caravella (SR/Harrington Park, N.J.) will take the mound for his first start of the season facing Youngstown State.

Tournament Schedule
GAME 1: SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 10:30 a.m. EST

MANHATTAN: RHP John Soldinger (0-2, 4.85 ERA)
YOUNGSTOWN STATE: RHP Patrick O'Brien (1-2, 4.76)

GAME 2: SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 1:30 p.m. EST
PITT: RHP Ethan Mildren (1-1, 4.50 ERA)
YOUNGSTOWN STATE: LHP Blake Aquadro (1-2, 4.20 ERA)

GAME 3: SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 4:30 p.m. EST
PITT: RHP Matt Wotherspoon (1-1, 4.66 ERA)
MANHATTAN: LHP Mike Martin (0-1, 5.73 ERA)

GAME 4: SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 10:30 a.m. EST
YOUNGSTOWN STATE: RHP Ryan Krokos (0-1, 4.76)
MANHATTAN: RHP Scott McClennan (0-0, 6.75)

GAME 5: SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 1:30 p.m. EST
PITT: RHP Rhys Aldenhoven (1-0, 4.24 ERA)
MANHATTAN: LHP Matt Jordan (0-2, 10.80 ERA)

GAME 6: SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 4:30 p.m. EST
PITT: LHP Alex Caravella (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
YOUNGSTOWN STATE: RHP Robert Switka (0-2, 6.75 ERA)


Panthers Prepare for Home Opener

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