Panthers Edge Duquesne 9-8

PITTSBURGH—The Pitt baseball team hosted cross-town rival Duquesne to Trees Field this afternoon for a midweek non-conference showdown. Both teams put on impressive offensive displays, compiling a total of 25 hits and 17 runs, but the Panthers proved to be too much in the end and prevailed by a count of 9-8.

Sean Conley (Chippewa, Pa./Blackhawk) started the hit party in the bottom of the first when he sent Joe Lombardo's first pitch of the afternoon over the wall in left field, giving the Pittsburgh Panthers (9-17, 2-7) an early 1-0 lead.

Pitt starter Corey Baker (New City, N.Y./Clarkstown South) took that one-run cushion and proceeded to breeze through the next two innings, retiring the next six Duquesne batters before watching his offense give him another run in bottom of the third to make it a 2-0 game.

Duquesne got its first run on the board in the fourth when a Mike Carroll walk and an errant toss that hit Pat Kimutis were followed by a sacrifice bunt and a single to the left side. After Carroll crossed the plate the Dukes' next batter, Derek Fallecker, then stepped up and wiped away the Panthers' lead with a three-run shot over the wall in left field to put Duquesne up by two heading into the bottom of the fourth.

Chris Tonte (Pittston, Pa./Lackawanna CC) and John Schultz (West Lawn, Pa./Wilson West Lawn) both laced singles to the left side of the Dukes' defense to start the Panthers' next at-bat. Both then advanced a base on a Lombardo wild pitch, which set the stage for Conley to launch his second long ball of the afternoon, a three-run shot that put Pitt up one with only one out gone in the inning.

After the Panthers added another run in the fourth to make the score 6-4, Duquesne fired back with three-run fifth frame that was highlighted by a Carroll RBI-double that helped dissolve Pitt's advantage.

The offensive fireworks continued in the bottom of the fifth when Tonte unloaded on a Lawrence Anderson offering that cleared the fence in left and scored two runs, giving the Panthers yet another lead.

Duquesne once again battled back in the seventh, tying the contest at eight runs a piece on a Bill Torre sacrifice grounder to Danny Lopez (Queens, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy). The Panthers produced one final push in the eighth, however, when Lopez walked and then proceeded to steal second and third with Nick Mullins (Brick, N.J./Brookdale CC) at the plate. Mullins produced a single up the middle that brought Lopez home and decided the game's outcome. Aside from delivering the game-winning RBI, Mullins also gunned down two runners, holding the Dukes without a stolen base for the entire game.

Pitt's Ricky Breymeir (Clarks Summit, Pa./Lackawanna CC) picked up the victory, his second of the season while Matt Zarin was charged with the loss.

The Panthers will be back at Trees Field tomorrow afternoon for another non-conference duel against Penn State. The first pitch is slated for 3 p.m.


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