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Pitt Defeats Mount St. Mary But Falls to Stetson in the Bottom of the Ninth in Doubleheader



After a loss on Friday to Mount St. Mary (Md.), the Panthers bounced back and took Game 2 of the series with a dominating, 10-2, victory at Melching Field in DeLand, Fla.

Pitt righty Jack Sokol had by far the best pitching outing of the year for the Panthers. Sokol pitched seven innings, gave up two earned runs, three hits, and struck out a whopping 10 batters. The Panthers’ bats were efficient as well, recording 11 hits. Second baseman Justin Acal led the way with three hits and two home runs.

The Panthers struck first in the opening inning thanks to a RBI single by Jack Anderson and a fielder’s choice earned run off a hit by AJ Nessler. Mount St. Mary’s Brady Drawbaugh hit a two-run shot to left field in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 2-2.

Nessler responded for the Panthers in the top of the third with a single through the right side to bring home Noah Martinez and CJ Funk to give Pitt a 4-2 lead. Acal then hit his first home run as a Panther to extend Pitt’s lead to 6-2. To conclude the top of the third, the Panthers added another run as Dom Popa drew a leadoff walk and then scored on a double by Sky Duff. Junior righty Sokol executed another 1-2-3 inning for the Panthers in the top of the fourth.

In the top of the eighth, Duff doubled down the right field line to bring home Popa. Anderson then singled to third to bring in another run. It was Anderson’s second RBI of the afternoon. Later in the inning, in his first at-bat of the season, Kyle Hess hit a double to right center.

Acal hit is second home run of the game in the top of the ninth to secure a 10-2 win for the Panthers and even the short series at 1-1 with Mount St. Mary.

In the Panthers’ second game of the day against Stetson, Martinez put Pitt on the board first with a RBI double that drove in Duff for the game’s first run. The Hatters answered in the bottom of the first with three runs to take the lead. It was a rough opening inning for Pitt lefty Ethan Firoved as he allowed five hits and walked a batter that led to a run. A throwing error by Pitt catcher Johnny Long III brought in another run for Stetson in the bottom of the second. Jake Bullard then singled to left field to advance Landon Moran to home, and the Hatters were off to a 5-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, Long homered down the left field line for the Panthers to cut Stetson’s lead to 5-3. After no scoring for either team in three straight innings, Pitt scored two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 5-5. Pitt’s comeback was to no avail, however, as Cameron Hill won the game for the Hatters with a home run in the bottom of the ninth. Pitt right-hander Nash Bryan gave up the winning run.

The Panthers are now 6-5 on the season. Pitt will wrap up its series with Stenson on Sunday at 1 p.m. First pitch is at 2 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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