PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The University of Akron (15-14) baseball team notched a 7-5 comeback win over the University of Pittsburgh (16-16) on Tuesday evening at Charles L. Cost Field. Akron and Pitt split the season series, as the Panthers took the first matchup, 11-8, on March 19.
Sophomore Michael Steensen made the start on the mound for UA, completing 4.0 innings with seven hits, three earned runs allowed and three walks. Steensen was given a no-decision in the win.
However, the Panthers clawed back with a three-run rally in the bottom half of the second. Pitt received an RBI double from Caleb Parry, and then a two RBI double from Stephen Vranka to take a 3-2 lead.
UA tied the contest at 3-3 in the top of the third as sophomore Kris Simonton was able to score on an error by Pitt's catcher Parry. Pitt regained the lead at 4-3 in the fourth with Vranka scoring on an error by Akron's Steensen.
In the top of the eighth, Akron broke the 4-4 tie with a three-run rally, giving the Zips a 7-4 advantage. Redshirt senior James Sheltrown hit an RBI single to first, followed by Simonton scoring on a passed ball and Billy Salem scoring on an error by Pitt's second baseman Matt Johnson.
Redshirt junior Matt LaRocca allowed one run in the eighth to make it 7-5 Zips, but closed out the game with 2.0 innings with three hits allowed and two strikeouts. LaRocca earned his second save of the season, with Sakamoto improving his season record to 3-1.
Overall, the Zips offense totaled six base hits, two walks, two stolen bases and four RBI. Sheltrown recorded two base hits, an RBI and a run to lead the mob. Mosbarger, Ahart, and Meeker had one hit and one RBI apiece. Simonton and Salem tied for the team-high with two runs scored and one stolen base each.
Akron will play at Canisius tomorrow to finalize the midweek matchups for this week, before coming home for a three-game Mid-American Conference series against Ohio University this weekend.