Sandefur Completes Game, Lifts Pitt Baseball Past Boston College

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PITTSBURGH – A career pitching performance from Aaron Sandefur led the Panthers to a 5-0 shutout victory over Boston College Friday afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field.

Sandefur shut down the Eagles offense, tossing the first complete game for the program since T.J. Zeuch went the distance on April 10, 2015 in an 8-3 win over Wake Forest. Stellar in all areas, Sandefur retired 27 of the 31 batters faced. The senior surrendered just five hits, shutting out the Eagles, while not yielding a walk and striking out 12. Sandefur’s 12 strikeouts marked a career-high for the righty and were the most by a Pitt pitcher since Zeuch threw 10 against Florida State on April 17, 2015.

“He did an outstanding job, he earned it,” said head coach Joe Jordano. “What we talked about all season, when you minimize opportunities, which he did with no walks, we played clean defensively, got a couple of timely hits and Aaron was dominant. He pitched ahead in the count, he pitched quick, our defense was ready and we played another clean baseball game. When you put all of those things together, we have a chance to win. We did a heck of a job today.”

Both pitchers were effective early on as Sandefur retired the first eight batters he faced, before letting up his first hit, a single to Logan Hoggarth in the third.

The Panthers took their first lead of the series in the bottom of the frame. Yaya Chentouf started off the inning with a walk, taking second on a single from Charles Leblanc. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch before Chentouf would score on the second wild pitch of the stanza. In the next at bat, Alex Kowalczyk sent a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Leblanc and giving Pitt a 2-0 advantage.

In the fifth, Frank Maldonado doubled to left and advanced to third on a groundout from Chentouf. A sacrifice from Matt Johnson would bring the leadoff man around as the Panthers upped their lead to 3-0.

Pitt added two more insurance runs in the sixth. Caleb Parry took a walk and was brought to second on a wild pitch. A walk to Aaron Schnurbusch put two runners aboard as Maldonado sent a single up the middle to score Parry and chase the pitcher. Schnurbusch would come around in the following at bat on a single up the middle from Chentouf.

For the Pitt offense, Maldonado led the way, going 2-of-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Leblanc also went 2-of-3, adding a walk and run while Chentouf was 1-of-2 with an RBI, walk and run.

“We talk about each game as it comes, we’re going to look at tomorrow, obviously they have a guy going on the mound that is having a great year for them and we’re fortunate to have T.J. [Zeuch] back,” added Jordano. “It’s going to be a really good baseball game. We’re going to take it one pitch at a time. It’s a big game for both programs. At this stage of the game we have to do everything we can to win this series at home. I anticipate a good ball game and if we can repeat some of the things that we talked about yesterday and today, we’ll have a chance.”

The Panthers improve to 10-9-0 (3-5-0 ACC) on the season. Pitt will return to the field tomorrow for the rubber game with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.

Notes: Aaron Sandefur’s 12 strikeouts are the most by a Pitt pitcher at Charles L. Cost Field in program history … Sandefur’s 12 strikeouts set a new career high for the senior … Sandefur pitched the first complete game since April 10, 2015 (Zeuch vs. Wake Forest) … Aaron Sandefur’s 12 strikeouts are the most by a Pitt pitcher since Zeuch threw 10 against Florida State on April 17, 2015 … David Yanni snapped a 10-game reached base streak … Charles Leblanc now has 11 multiple hit games … Frank Maldonado now has seven multiple hit games … Pitt improves to 2-3 at home … the Panthers move to 9-6 in day games and 3-3 in games played on turf … the Panthers are now 4-3 when wearing blue jerseys and 2-1 in shutouts … Pitt moves to 6-2 against left handed starters … the Panthers are now 9-2 when leading after six and 9-1 when leading after eight… the Panthers improve to 6-2 when scoring first and 5-4 when committing one or less errors … the Panthers are now 3-3 in Friday contests and 4-8 in the month of March … Pitt improves to 4-5 in games following a loss.


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