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Pitt thwarts Youngstown State in mid-week showdown

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Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

Jeff Ahearn | Assistant Visual Editor

By Ashwini Sivaganesh / Staff Writer

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In enemy territory, the Pitt baseball team had no problem icing the Youngstown State University Penguins.

Thanks to a quick 6-0 lead against YSU, the Panthers defeated their Ohio rivals by a score of 17-5 on Wednesday night at Eastwood Field.

The Panthers threatened early, loading the bases with two outs in the first inning. But they squandered that opportunity, as Ronnie Sherman was unable to bring them home.

Sam Mersing took the mound, and started out with a five-pitch swinging strikeout against the Penguins’ Web Charles. The inning ended scoreless.

The Panthers’ offense exploded in the second inning.

With runners on first and second, Frank Maldonado laced a triple into left field, putting the Panthers on the scoreboard. They would lead 2-0.

Alex Kowalczyk and Charles Leblanc both recorded their second hits of the evening, scoring Maldonado. Nick Yarnall, Sherman and Aaron Schnurbusch each tallied singles, bringing in three more runs. The teams switched sides with the Panthers running away with a 6-0 lead.

YSU retaliated with two back-to-back doubles, securing their first run of the night. Mersing escaped without any further damage.

Mersing pitched and allowed two more batters to reach base, ending his night and bringing on reliever Tyler Garbee. The Penguins cut the Panther lead to 6-4, but Garbee followed with two strikeouts.

Just when the Penguins seemed to be closing in, the Panthers pounced for the kill.

The fourth started strong with Kowalczyk tallying his third hit of the night, and Yarnall bringing him home on a two-out single. Manny Pazos’ double, and first RBI of the season, down right center earned the Panthers a run, extending Pitt’s lead 8-4.

Leblanc brought in two more runners with a single, before Kowalczyk ended his hitting streak and the top of the fourth, 11-4.

The Panthers’ bats continued to sear throughout the evening, as  Pitt outscored the Penguins 6-1 over the final five innings, cruising to an easy non-conference victory.

Maldonado, Leblanc and Kowalczyk paced the Panthers with three hits each, while Yarnall and David Yanni both had two.

The Panthers’ record sits at 18-14, and their next game will be a three-day series at home against Miami University, Ohio, starting April 22 at 6 p.m.

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Pitt thwarts Youngstown State in mid-week showdown