April 8, 2014

Baseball Completes 7-5 Comeback Win over Pitt on Tuesday

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Box Score

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.

Following scoreless frames from both teams in the first inning, the Zips plated a pair of runs in the top of the second on RBI singles from freshman James Meeker III and sophomore Daulton Mosbarger.

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.

The Zips tied the game yet again with one run in the fifth inning on a Devan Ahart RBI single, scoring Matt Rembielak on the play. Ahart is third on the squad with 15 runs driven in this season.

Akron's bullpen performed admirably following the exit of Steensen. Jon Pusateri tossed two scoreless innings, while Masashi Sakamoto worked one scoreless frame to allow UA to stage a comeback.

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.