The Pittsburgh Panthers outhit Indiana State 13-4 en route to a 10-1 victory Sunday afternoon in Port Charlotte, Fla. in the rubber game of the Snowbird Baseball Classic.
The Panthers (2-1) scored runs in five different innings and stranded 14 runners on base while ISU (1-2) left six runners on the basepaths.
Transfer Javin Drake (0-1) was charged with the loss after making his ISU debut on the mound. The right-hander could not overcome early control issues, walking five batters in 3.1 innings. Drake was able to work around many of his baserunners, including getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the third when he snagged a line drive back to the mound for the final out.
One run came in to score for Pitt in the third after an error extended the inning. UP’s Kyle Hess brought in the go-ahead run with a double down to left field. From there, Pitt’s steady dose of offense continued as the Panthers added three runs in the fourth and two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings each to cruise to the series-deciding victory.
The lone run of the day for the Sycamores came in the top of the sixth when Brian Fuentes sent a ball to centerfield to bring home Diego Gines on a sacrifice fly.
Six Indiana State hurlers saw the mound during the series finale. Will Buraconak went just a third of an inning, allowing two runs before ISU closer Tyler Grauer entered in the fourth inning to pick up the final out, but not before Pitt took advantage of a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch and an RBI single to extend their lead to 4-0. Grauer went on to pitch two innings, allowing six hits and four runs while striking out three.
Jake Ridgway, Matt Jachec and Jake Wilson also made their season debuts for the Trees. Wilson retired the first two batters he faced in his collegiate career via strikeouts in the eight.
No Sycamore had multiple hits on the day. Jordan Schaffer recorded a base hit to bring his weekend total to six. Max Wright, Dominic Cusumano and Sean Ross also tallied a hit apiece.
Pitt’s Billy Corcoran tossed four innings and struck out five in his start while Chris Pouliot (1-0) was credited with the win after two innings of relief work.
Hess led the Panthers at the dish with a 3-for-5 day, including two doubles to go with three RBI. Bryce Hulett added three RBI on two hits for the Panthers.
Indiana State will travel to Knoxville next weekend for a four-game series with SEC opponent Tennessee.