Here is your Big East Recap for March 20th. This was the first day of conference play.
Pittsburgh 18 Cincinnati 4
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team opened up Big East Conference play with an 18-4 win over the University of Cincinnati Bearcats here today at Trees Field. Every Panther in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit while eight different Panthers drove in at least one RBI on the day.
Nate Reed (1-1) picked up his first win of 2009, throwing six innings, striking out six while giving up four earned runs and walking three. David Kaye pitched three innings of no-hit ball and struck out two after entering the game in the seventh for Pitt.
Pitt (10-5, 1-0 Big East) set or tied a season-high mark in nearly every offensive category today, led by a season-best 18 runs on 23 hits. Chris Sedon, Frank Mercurio and Cory Brownsten all homered for the Panthers while Joe Leonard went 4-for-5 at the plate, scoring twice and adding two RBI.
Louisville 8 Georgetown 3
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Junior left-hander Justin Marks picked up his third straight win with his third consecutive 11-strikeout performance to lead the 27th-ranked Louisville baseball team to an 8-3 win over Georgetown on Friday at Jim Patterson Stadium in the BIG EAST opener for both teams.
Marks, an All-American from Owensboro, Ky., allowed only one run on just three hits in an impressive 7.0 innings with nearly 30 professional scouts in attendance. Marks has 33 strikeouts in his last 20 innings on the mound and he matched a career high with 16.2 straight innings without allowing a run from March 6-20 before the Hoyas broke through for one run on Friday.
“That’s two weeks in a row that Justin Marks has been dominate on the mound for our team,” said Louisville head coach Dan McConnell. “He set the tone for the game with three strikeouts in the first inning and was very good all day.”
South Florida 6 Rutgers 3
TAMPA – The University of South Florida baseball team collected 18 hits en route to a 6-3 victory over Rutgers in the opening game of BIG EAST play on Friday.
The Bulls’ hits matched the season high, which was set at UCF on March 11.
Sophomore Ryan Lockwood led the USF offense by going 4-for-5 from the plate. Sophomore Stephen Hunt and freshman Sam Mende each added three hits.
“It’s great to see Lockwood get those four hits, and having Stephen Hunt back in the lineup adds a lot of energy to the team,” said Coach Lelo Prado. “Everybody did a good job offensively.”
Notre Dame 10 Seton Hall 4
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior Jeremy Barnes went 4-for-5 with four RBI and juniors’ David Mills and A.J. Pollock added three hits apiece to pace Notre Dame’s 16-hit attack as the Irish routed Seton Hall, 10-4, in the BIG EAST opener for both schools Friday night at Frank Eck Stadium. Notre Dame extended its winning streak to six games and improved to 13-5 overall and 1-0 in the conference. The Pirates dropped to 8-7 and 0-1.
Barnes (Garland, Texas), who has seven hits over his last two outings, extended his hitting streak to eight games. The shortstop had a two-run double and pair of RBI singles. Barnes has now driven in 22 on the year and raised his batting average to .385.
Mills (Battle Creek, Mich.) and Pollock (Hebron, Conn.) not only had three hits each, but they each scored three runs. Mills went 3-for-4 with a walk and two-run single, while Pollock went 3-for-5 with an RBI single.
St. John’s 19 Villanova 7
QUEENS, N.Y. – The St. John’s baseball team combined for 23 hits, including eight doubles, in a 19-7 win against Villanova to open BIG EAST play. Brian Kemp was 5-for-5, while Carlos Del Rosario had a 4-for-5 day with four doubles to lead St. John’s (9-7). Joe Panik added a three-run home run, while Jimmy Parque had four RBI. Nick Luisi (1-2) worked 5.0 innings to earn the win. Matt McFolling and Kyle Carver had two RBI apiece to lead Villanova (10-7).
Matt Szczur opened up a five-run third inning for Villanova with a single. After Joe Rosati was plunked, Dain Hall singled to load the bases. Joe Cotter then drew a bases loaded walk to force in a run. After a two-run single by Matt McFolling, Carver added a two-run double down the left field line and the Wildcats led 5-0.
St. John’s responded in the bottom of the frame after Gino Matias led off with a single up the middle. Following a double by Kemp, Parque lifted a one-out sacrifice fly to put the Red Storm on the board.
West Virginia 7 UConn 6
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Senior Austin Markel’s clutch RBI single in the ninth inning elevated the West Virginia University baseball team to a 7-6 victory over Connecticut in game one of a three-game series on Friday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field.
Tied 6-6 entering the final frame, pinch hitter Justin Ellis started out with a walk, then was substituted by pinch runner Colin Durburow. After Justin Parks’ groundout moved Durborow to second base, Markel came through with the go-ahead hit through the right side to give the Mountaineers (13-5, 1-0) a critical conference-opening win.
Providing instant relief was Chris Enourato (5-0), who logged 2.1 innings and gave up just one hit while striking out five. Starter Jarryd Summers earned a quality start after giving up just three earned runs in 6.2 innings pitched while striking out six, but took a no decision.