April 28, 2012
WASHINGTON - Georgetown put runners in scoring position six different times during the game, but could not take advantage as Pittsburgh's Ethan Mildren threw eight shutout innings and struck out nine batters en route to a 5-0 win over the Hoyas in a BIG EAST Conference baseball game on Saturday afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field in Pittsburgh.
It was the fifth-straight loss for the Hoyas, who fall to 18-23 overall and 5-11 in the BIG EAST, while Pittsburgh improves to 20-20 overall and 5-11 in league play. The teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday, but the nightcap was postponed and the teams will play a doubleheader on Sunday, April 30.
Senior right-handed pitcher Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) started and threw well for the Hoyas, allowing three runs (one earned) while scattering eight hits over 6.2 innings, with one walk and five strikeouts. Junior James Heine (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) gave up two runs in the eighth inning as the Panthers pushed their lead to 5-0.
The Hoyas had runners on base seven times and put them in scoring position six times, but could not muster any runs off Mildren. In the first, Junior center fielder Justin Leeson (Exton, Pa./West Chester) hit a leadoff single but was tagged out at second on a single with one out from senior right fielder Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal). Redshirt junior shortstop Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur) singled to put runners on first and second with two out, but that ended the threat.
Pittsburgh took advantage of an error in the second inning to score a pair of unearned runs and take a 2-0 lead. Anthony DeFabio reached on a fielder's choice and Sam Parente singled and the runners moved to second and third with two out, but an error on junior third baseman Trevor Matern (Santa Clarita, Calif./Hart) allowed both runners to score.
Junior first baseman Danny Poplawski (Bellevue, Wash./Overlake) hit a leadoff single in the second and moved to second on a bunt from senior catcher Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill) but was left stranded. Leeson hit a leadoff single in the third and moved to second on a ground out from senior second baseman Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice), but he was left stranded in scoring position as well.
The Panthers added a run in the fifth to push the lead to 3-0 before scoring two in the eighth against Heine.
Harris is now 4-3 with a 2.97 earned run average overall, including a 2-3 mark in BIG EAST play with a 2.20 ERA. He has thrown at least 6.0 innings in his last five starts, allowing eight earned runs in 35.2 innings for a 2.05 ERA.
Junior Neal Dennison (Houston, Texas/Lamar), who is 3-2 with a 5.77 ERA, will start Sunday's first game. The Panthers will start Matt Iannazzo (5-2, 4.57 ERA). Dennison, a converted reliever, gave up seven earned runs in 4.2 innings last weekend against Notre Dame, but has thrown at least 5.0 innings in four of his eight starts. Freshman Jack Vander Linden (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas), who has made two career BIG EAST starts, will be on the hill for the Blue & Gray in the nightcap. Vander Linden is 4-2 with a 4.54 ERA this season. He will go up against Pitt starter Matt Wotherspoon (3-2, 4.96). Vander Linden was named to the league's weekly honor roll last week after allowing only two runs on six hits in an 8-2 win at Villanova, giving the Hoyas the series win.