April 11, 2010

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Athletics

PITTSBURGH - Pitt produced two innings of five or more runs en route to defeating the seventh-ranked Louisville baseball team, 15-5, Saturday afternoon at Trees Field. The Panthers improved to 22-7 overall and 6-2 in Big East action, while the Cardinals fell to 24-6 and 5-3 in the league.

Matt Iannazzo (Norwalk, Conn./Norwalk) pitched a solid 7.0 innings in the win, giving up four runs off nine hits. Joe Leonard (Dawson, Pa./Connellsville) entered in the ninth, retiring the three batters he faced to secure Pitt's win.

At the plate, Zach Duggan (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) was a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs batted in on the day. David Chester (Collinsville, Okla./Seminole CC) knocked in two home runs in the game, hitting 3-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored.

Pitt took the early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first off a Chester two-run homer. Louisville cut the lead to 2-1 on an RBI single in the bottom of the second, and tied up the game at 2-2 in the top of the third on a solo home run.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Panthers took the lead for good on a five-run explosion. Pitt got started with three consecutive hits from Chester, Kevan Smith and Phil Konieczny to start the inning. Konieczny (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe) drove in Chester, while a pitching error brought home Smith (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley). Cory Brownsten tripled to centerfield, bringing home two runs and Duggan drove in the final run of the inning to give Pitt the 7-2 lead.

The fifth and sixth innings were scoreless. The Panthers added a run in the bottom of the seventh on a Smith RBI single to center field to give Pitt the 8-2 advantage.

Louisville threatened in the top of the eighth with two runs scored. The 8-4 Pitt lead gave hope to the Cardinals' chances.

In the bottom of the inning, however, Pitt convincingly earned victory with seven runs crossing the plate. Six of those hits drove in runs including Chester's second home run of the game, which drove in two runs.

The Cardinals could not come up with the offense necessary for a rally, adding just one run in the top of the ninth for the 15-5 Pitt win.

Pitt will try for the series sweep on Sunday at noon as they host Louisville in the final game of the three-game series at Trees Field. Pitcher Nate Hood is expected to get the start for the Panthers.