Oct. 7, 2013
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team defeated the Ontario Blue Jays, an 18-and-under team from Toronto that competes in the Premier Baseball League, 5-1 in a 12 inning exhibition contest Sunday afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field.
“I was very pleased with our overall team performance against a very talented Ontario Blue Jays squad,” said Pitt head coach Joe Jordano. “We pitched well, only walking two batters in 12 innings and played error free baseball. Offensively, we had nine or 10 hits and hit several balls hard. I really liked our tempo and aggressiveness overall.”
Pitt got off to a quick 1-0 lead and held it until the top of the seventh when the Blue Jays tied the score. The Panthers responded quickly when in the bottom of the inning Casey Roche (SR/Downingtown, Pa.) blasted a solo homer to left giving Pitt a 2-1 lead.
The Panthers extended their lead in the bottom of the ninth when Eric Hess (JR/Erie, Pa.) came to the dish and roped a basesloaded triple into the gap scoring three and giving Pitt the 5-1 lead, a lead they would keep through the 12 innings of play.
“We have a lot of work to do but for the first time playing against another team I believe we passed the initial test,” Jordano said. “Coaches Oakes, Peters and Liska have been doing a great job for us. It was our first time playing the Blue Jays and I was impressed with the way they played and we hope this will be a traditional fall game for us in the future. The Ontario Blue Jays are a first-class organization and we know they have an outstanding reputation.”
The Panthers, who will begin their inaugural season in the ACC in 2014, are coming off one of the most successful seasons the school history. In the 2013 campaign, Pitt tallied a program-best 42-17 (18-6 Big East) record that featured eight weekend series sweeps. Additionally, the Panthers were ranked in all five major college baseball polls for the first time in history.