Panthers Take Game One

The continuing story line for the Mountaineer baseball team this year has been self-inflicted wounds leading to losses, and that pattern was again in play during WVU's loss to Pitt in the opening game of a doubleheader with the Panthers.

West Virginia pitcher Chris Amedro and Pitt hurler Nick Evangelista locked horns in a classic pitchers' duel on a beautiful spring afternoon at Hawley Field, and with both throwing the ball well the game came down to the smallest of differences.

Unfortunately, it was WVU that came out on the short end of that play phase, as a couple of misplays, along with a lack of clutch hitting, felled the Mountaineers 2-0.

Amedro gave up seven hits and struck out a career-high seven in seven innings of work, but a pair of mistakes gave Pitt the edge they needed to grab the win.

After both pitchers matched four scoreless innings, Amedro allowed a pair of one-out singles to the Panthers in the top of the fifth, and then compounded the jam by hitting a batter to load the bases. Panther Ben Copeland followed that mistake with a sacrifice fly to score the first run of the game. Without the hit batsman, WVU would have escaped the inning unscathed.

One inning later, a fielding mistake allowed the vistors to double their lead. With two outs and runners on first and third, second baseman Kyle Matuszek dropped a throw from Grant Psomas that would have ended the inning with a forceout. Instead, the error allowed the second Panther run of the game to score.

On the flip side of the duel, WVU was twice able to mount scoring threats, putting two runners on base in both the third and sixth innings. However, the Mountaineers were unable to come up with the hit they needed to bring runners across the plate. West Virginia also brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but again fell short in their effort to dent the dish. P> WVU managed just five hits against Evangelista, who struck out nine while walking just one o his way to the complete game shutout.

The two teams play again this afternoon in the second half of the doubleheader. WVU falls to 1-8 in the conference and 9-19 overall, while the Panthers moved to 6-3 in the Big East and 18-8 on the season.

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