West Virginia Tops Pitt Baseball

Pittbaseball
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team dropped a 10-4 contest to West Virginia on Tuesday night. After eight innings of tightly contested baseball, the Mountaineers separated themselves by scoring four in the ninth inning to capture the win.

(Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

West Virginia jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs on four hits in the second inning. Back-to-back extra-base hits led off the inning for the Mountaineers, giving them their first run of the game. A single and a walk then loaded the bases, setting the table for the sacrifice fly and squeeze play that would add two more and give WVU its 3-0 lead.

WVU added another in the third, using a solo home run to extend its lead to 4-0.

The Pitt offense got going in the bottom half of the third to erase the 4-0 deficit. After a pair of walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, clean-up hitter Alex Kowalczyk hit a clutch two-out, bases clearing double to score David Yanni, PJ DeMeo and Nick Yarnall. On the next pitch, Frank Maldonado hit a single up the middle to bring home Kowalczyk and tie the game 4-4.

In the fourth, a bunt single, error, and wild pitch put the leadoff batter on third base for the Mountaineers. Again, West Virginia executed a squeeze play to bring home the run and regain a 5-4 lead.

After three scoreless innings, West Virginia hit a solo homer to add a run of insurance and make the score 6-4.

The Mountaineers continued to add insurance runs in the ninth, scoring four runs to extend their lead to 10-4. After a walk to lead off the inning, WVU used a pair of bunt singles to load the bases with no outs. A sacrifice fly and the team’s third squeeze play of the night brought in the first two runs of the ninth for the visitors. Two more would come around to score on a two-RBI double that gave West Virginia its 10-4 advantage.

Sam Mersing (5-4) got the start on the mound for the Panthers, allowing five runs, four earned on seven hits in 3.2 innings on his way to fourth loss of the season.

In relief, freshman Tyler Garbee gave Pitt three scoreless innings of work before allowing five runs in the final two frames. In total, Garbee pitched 5.1 innings and allowed five runs on nine hits while striking out three.

Offensively, Kowalczyk and Maldonado stood out for the Panthers. Kowalczyk delivered the biggest hit of the game for the Panthers, driving in three runs and also scoring himself in the fourth. Maldonado finished two-for-four on the evening and tallied an RBI.
Pitt will conclude regular season play as it hosts ACC opponent Duke for a three-game series beginning on Thursday. First pitch with the Blue Devils on Thursday is set for 6 p.m. from Cost Field in Pittsburgh.


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