Brock Franks hit a walk-off home run in the ninth inning to lead Pitt baseball to a 6-5 win over Ohio State in the All-American Classic in Fayetteville, N.C. on Saturday.
Franks’s game-winning blast came with one out in the ninth against Buckeyes receiver TJ Brock. The drive to right field completed a Pitt comeback and improved the Panthers to 6-4 on the young season. Franks is in his second season with the Panthers, and the home run was his second of 2022 after hitting just one in 42 games in 2021.
Ohio State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the game against Pitt starter Logan Evans, who gave up three runs in his first three innings. Pitt got two runs back in the third on a Tatem Levins homer to the right and then took the lead in the fourth when Franks doubled in CJ Funk and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-3. Franks finished 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs.
That chased Ohio State starter Nate Haberthier, who lasted only 3 2/3 innings and gave up four hits, four runs and struck out four.
Offensively, Trey Lipsey did a lot of the early damage for Ohio State. He reached on a fielder’s choice and scored in the first, hit a sacrifice fly in the third and the put Ohio State back on top with a two-run shot in the fifth. Lipsey finished 1 for 2 with 3 RBIs, two sacrifices and a stolen base.
Evans worked into the sixth for Pitt, throwing 5 2/3 innings and allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits while striking out five.
In the the seventh, Tommy Tavarez walked, advance to third after an error on a pickoff attempt and scored on Sky Duff’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at 5-5 and set up Franks’ late-game winner.
Hayden Summers replaced Evans on the mound and kept Ohio State off the board for the final 3 1/3 innings, giving up just one hit and one walk to earn the win and improve to 1-0 on the season. Brock (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season.
The Panthers will be in action against Campbell at 3 p.m. on Sunday to close the All-American Classic.