Panthers Defeat Redhawks, 8- 7

PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team earned a series sweep over Miami (OH), defeating the RedHawks 8-7 in walk-off fashion on Sunday.

(Video courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

Pitt got out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning after Frank Maldonado got hit by a pitch and eventually came around to score on a perfectly executed squeeze play. Caleb Parry laid down the bunt to bring home Maldonado.

Miami tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third, capitalizing on a leadoff double and throwing error to push across its first run of the ballgame.

In the bottom of the third, Pitt regained a 2-1 lead. Alex Kowalczyk got the inning started with a double to right, moved to third on a Nick Yarnall sacrifice bunt, then scored on an RBI groundout by Frank Maldonado.

The RedHawks responded in the fourth, scoring three runs to take a 4-2 lead. In the frame, Miami used three hits, including a triple and a double, and a sacrifice fly to take its first lead of the game.

Miami added to its lead in the fifth after leadoff hitter Chad Sedio got hit by a pitch, then stole second and advanced to third on an error. A sacrifice fly then scored Sedio, extending Miami’s lead to 5-2.

The Panthers had a big inning in the sixth, scoring four runs to take a 6-5 advantage. Maldonado and David Yanni walked to set the table for a Ronnie Sherman RBI single, scoring Maldonado. Yanni would then come home to score on a Caleb Parry groundout. After, Aaron Schnurbusch walked, and he and Sherman executed a double steal to put themselves on second and third with one out. Sherman then scored on a Jacob Wright sacrifice fly. Pitches later, Schnurbush took home on a wild pitch to score Pitt’s fourth and final run of the inning.

In the seventh, the RedHawks responded with a two-run homer to push themselves back in front, 7-6.

Pitt evened the game at 7-7 in the home half of the seventh when Yanni tripled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

With the game still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Maldonado drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the inning and stole second base to put himself in scoring position. After a pair of strikeouts, Parry stepped to the plate with two outs and ripped a single up the middle, driving in Maldonado and giving Pitt the 8-7 victory.

On the mound, sophomore reliever Isaac Mattson (2-0) pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits on his way to earning the win. He struck out four on the afternoon, including all three batters he faced in the ninth.

Starting pitcher Josh Falk gave the Panthers four innings of work, allowing three earned runs on five hits. Freshman Tyler Garbee also got work on the mound, going 2.1 innings, giving up just one hit and allowing two earned runs.

Offensively, Parry stood out for Pitt, driving in three runs including the game-winning run in the ninth. Maldonado also had a big day for the Panthers, reaching base twice and scoring three runs.

With the victory, the Panthers move to 21-14 on the season and have now won six straight and seven of their last nine.

Pitt now looks forward to a three-game homestand with the defending national champion Virginia Cavaliers next weekend. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 30 with first pitch slated for 3 p.m. They will wrap up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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