Ron Washington Jr. blasted a three-run double as part of a five-run rally in the eighth inning as Pitt came back to beat Iowa, 10-8 on Sunday in Port Charlotte, Florida.
After conceding three runs and the lead in the top half of the frame, the Panthers roared back with two outs in the bottom half.
Back-to-back singles by Jordan Anderson and Nico Popa loaded the bases and David Yanni was hit by a pitch to score a run. Then Washington cleared the bases with a double to center field.
The three RBIs gave Washington eight on the season’s opening weekend. He’s now 7 for 17 (.411) with two home runs and two doubles in Pitt’s first four games.
Closer Chase Smith (1-0) worth the final 1 2/3 innings for his first win of the season.
C.J. McKennitt started the eighth, but he allowed a single, a walk and a single for one Iowa run. Smith came in, but couldn’t prevent the other two from scoring after a passed ball, a wild pitch and another single.
Iowa had built a 4-1 lead in the third inning after an RBI single and then a three-run home run to left by Izaya Fullard. All four of those runs went uncharged to Pitt starter Matt Gilbertson because of a Yanni throwing error.
Gilbertson threw seven innings and allowed five runs, one of which was earned. He struck out five and did not issue a walk.
Pitt’s first comeback came in the fourth inning, when sophomore Sky Duff hit a two-run double and Popa brought him home with a groundout to tie the game back at four.
Both teams scored one run in the seventh, with Pitt’s coming when Yanni doubled home Popa, giving Yanni three RBIs on the afternoon. He had also driven in Anderson with a sacrifice fly in the first.
The Panthers will return to Pittsburgh with a 3-1 record from their season-opening weekend in Port Charlotte, beating Indiana State and St. Joseph’s in addition to Iowa, while losing to Ohio State on Saturday.