Pitt Baseball Knocks off Kent State

KENT, OHIO – Competing in their first mid-week contest of the 2016 season, the University of Pittsburgh baseball team improved to 8-6-0 on the season with a 9-4 victory over the Kent State Golden Flashes Wednesday under the lights in Kent, Ohio.

The outing got off to a slow start as things remained scoreless through two innings of work. Pitt got on the board first in the third inning as Charles LeBlanc singled up the middle to start things off, advancing to second on a single by Nick Yarnall. In the next at bat, Alex Kowalczyk doubled to right center to bring around both runners and put Pitt up 2-0. Kowalczyk was called out on a steal attempt to clear the bases, but Aaron Schnurbusch would send a solo shot deep over the right field wall to give Pitt a 3-0 lead.

Kent State would cut into the Panther lead in the bottom of the stanza, as a double from Mason Mamarella would score one.

Pitt kept its hot bats alive in the following inning, extending its lead to 5-1. Making his second start of the season, Yaya Chentouf sent a single into left field, followed by a single from Matt Johnson to center field, putting a pair on for LeBlanc. The shortstop would double to right field to bring Chentouf home, and in the next at bat Yarnall sent a sacrifice bunt down the line to score Johnson.

With a swing of momentum, Kent State cut the Panthers’ lead to one with a three-run fourth inning off of back-to-back home runs from Dylan Rosa and Conner Simonetti.

The Panthers answered with an effective fifth inning. Back-to-back walks to Schnurbusch and Ron Sherman put two men aboard, as the seniors were put in scoring position off of a sacrifice bunt from P.J. DeMeo before a single from Chentouf would bring both home and give Pitt the 7-4 lead.

It was two more for Pitt in the sixth as a walk from Yarnall kicked things off for the Panthers. Yarnall would steal second before being brought home by a well-hit single to right center from Kowalczyk. He would advance to third after a pair of walks to Schnurbusch and pitch hitter Jacob Wright before touching home plate following an error by the Kent State third baseman.

The scoring would go silent following the sixth as the Panthers walked away with a 9-4 win.

Six Pitt batters accounted for 10 hits as the Panthers out-hit the Golden Flashes 10-8. As a team, Pitt was perfect in field, compared to a pair of errors from Kent State.

Kowalczyk led the way for Pitt, going 2-of-6 with three runs batted in and a run scored, including a double. LeBlanc was 2-of-3 with an RBI double and run scored, also taking two walks. Schnurbusch added a solo homer, scoring a pair of runs and adding a pair of walks.

On the mound, it was an effective start for Sam Mersing who went 5.0 innings, surrendering four earned runs off of eight hits, walking just one and whiffing four. Jextin Pugh and Tyler Garbee each saw an inning of work, while Isaac Mattson tossed two, combining for four scoreless innings.

With the victory, Pitt improves to 8-6-0 on the season, remaining at 1-2-0 in the ACC.

Pitt will make its home debut the following weekend, hosting nationally-ranked Florida State in a three-game series at Charles L. Cost field March 18-20.

Notes: The win is the first for the Panthers over the Golden Flashes since May 14, 2013 … Pitt improves to 26-37-0 in the all-time series with Kent State … Aaron Schnurbusch collected his fourth home run of the season and seventh of his career with the Panthers … the game was the fourth multiple RBI contest of the season for Alex Kowalczyk … the Panthers tied their season-high with 12 combined walks … the Panthers set a new season-high with four sacrifice hits … as a staff, the Panthers allowed a season-low one walk … the win was the 802 of head coach Joe Jordano’s career … Charles LeBlanc extended his on-base streak to 21 consecutive games, dating back to the 2015 season … Alex Kowalczyk stretched his on-base streak to 20 straight contests, dating back to the 2015 season … Nick Yarnall extended his reached base streak to 13 straight games, dating back to the 2015 season … Pitt improves to 5-5-0 on the road this season … the Panthers move to 1-2 in night games and 1-0 in contests played on turf … Pitt is now 5-2 when facing left handed starting pitchers and 4-3 when wearing gray jerseys … Pitt improves to 7-2 when leading after six and 7-1 when leading after eight … the Panthers move to 5-1 when they score first and 6-2 when they score six or more runs … Pitt is now 7-3 when earning 10 or more hits and 7-1 when hitting at least one home run … Pitt is now 2-5 in the month of March and 1-0 on Wednesdays … time of game was 3:20.

Copyright © 2022 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Comments are temporarily closed. A new and improved comments section will be added soon.