Pittsburgh – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (40-11, 18-3 Big East) defeated Villanova (11-39, 2-19 Big East), 10-2, this afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex. With the win, the Panthers have captured 40 victories in a season for the first time in program history. Additionally, the win was the 750th in the career of head coach Joe Jordano.
“I’m very happy for the team in accomplishing something that no other Pitt baseball team has accomplished which is winning 40 games,” said Jordano. “As I said to the squad after the game, this isn’t the finish line. We have a lot more baseball to play and we look forward to getting back after it tomorrow at practice and then on Tuesday against a very strong Kent State team.”
Rhys Aldenhoven (JR/Victoria, Australia) (8-0) earned the win after pitching 8.0 innings allowing five hits and two unearned runs while striking out seven. Josh Harris (4-7) took the loss for the Wildcats.
The Panthers got on the board with a pair in the bottom of the first. Stephen Vranka (JR/ Monroeville, Pa.) led off the inning with a single into right. Elvin Soto (SO/New York, N.Y.) then drew a walk to put a pair on. Casey Roche (JR/Downingtown, Pa.) followed with a perfectly placed double down the right field line on a hit and run play to score Vranka and Soto giving Pitt an early 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third Pitt added three more to push its lead to 5-0. Roche and Boo Vazquez (SO/Youngstown, Ohio) singled to lead off the frame and were brought home by a Steven Shelinsky Jr. (JR/Yardley, Pa.) double. Shelinsky then scored on a fielder’s choice.
Villanova added a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fifth before the Panthers responded with three in the bottom of the sixth. Evan Oswald (SR/Butler, Pa.) and Dylan Wolsonovich (FR/Ford City, Pa.) started the inning with singles before Vranka ripped a ball into the gap in right center field for a triple and a pair of RBIs. Shelinsky then crossed the plate on a wild pitch for Pitt’s eighth run of the game.
Pitt added two more in the bottom of the eighth and J.R. Leonardi (JR/Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Jimmy Devine (SR/Pittsburgh, Pa.) closed out the game in the ninth for the win.
The Panthers return to action on Tuesday, May 14, when they host Kent State in their home finale at 6 p.m. at Cost Field.