KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Pitt baseball got the 2018 season off to a hot start by beating Oakland, 9-3 in the Sunshine State Classic.
Sophomore third baseman Liam Sabino powered the Panthers’ offense. He hit a solo home run and drove in another run as part of his four-hit afternoon.
Sabino hit his home run to start the scoring in the first inning. In the third, he singled to load the bases with no outs. Then Pitt took advantage of some Oakland miscues. David Yanni hit a ground ball that deflected off the glove of Oakland first baseman Ben Hart that scored two runs. Then, Sabino scored on a wild pitch from Bears starter Jake Lee. Yanni scored on a dropped third strike to give Pitt four runs in the frame.
From there, starter Matt Pidich took over. Pidich, making just his 10th career start to begin his redshirt senior season, threw six innings of three-hit ball, holding the Bears to one run while striking out a career-high seven batters.
Pitt added on in the sixth, when Seton La-Salle grad Nico Popa tripled and scored on a wild pitch. In the seventh, freshman designated hitter Ron Washington, Jr., got his first career hit on a single to center. He scored on Caleb Parry’s double and then Popa drove in Parry with an infield single.
The Bears pushed two across in the eighth against Pitt sophomore reliever Kevin Henriksen. Freshman Peyton Reesman pitched the final 1.1 innings to secure the victory.