The West Virginia University baseball team turned in an impressive 7-5 win on Sunday against Pitt at Hawley Field to complete a 2-1 series victory.
With the win, the Mountaineers improved to 17-24 overall and 5-10 in BIG EAST play while the Panthers dropped to 19-20 and 4-11 in conference action.
"We have the tiebreaker and we're a game ahead of them in the standings," coach Greg Van Zant says. "It's always good to win a conference series regardless of who you play. Pitt has beaten us the last two years, so it was good to win this year."
Junior right-hander Dan Dierdorff pitched into the eighth inning for WVU, improving his record to 4-4 in seven innings pitched. Dierdorff allowed four runs on seven hits, and struck out three. Sophomore righty Josh Harlow earned his second save in as many appearances, allowing one run on three hits in two innings.
"I feel good and I decided that I'm just going to keep it simple from now on," Dierdorff says. "A few games ago I was up in the zone and hitting guys and they were hitting me hard. I just decided I was going to stop walking guys, that didn't happen today, but I just wanted to go out there, throw strikes and keep the game simple."
Offensively, WVU jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings thanks to a two-out RBI single by junior shortstop Stuart Jeck. Jeck drove in freshman second baseman Billy Fleming, who had singled, and junior catcher Alan Filauro, who had reached on an error.
Pitt cut the lead to 2-1 in the third inning, but the Mountaineers came back in the fifth and took a 5-1 lead, highlighted by freshman center fielder Bobby Boyd's two-run home run over the right center field wall, his second of the season.
The Panthers again clawed back with one run in the top of the sixth, but WVU answered again with two runs in the bottom half of the inning as Boyd picked up two more RBIs with a double along the left field line that scored junior right fielder Brady Wilson and Filauro, bringing the score to 7-2.
Boyd and Jeck each had a team-high two hits and one run scored, while Boyd added four RBIs and Jeck had two RBIs. Filauro scored two runs and sophomore designated hitter Matt Frazer drove in one run on a double.
Pitt added three runs in the eighth inning off a two-run homer by Anthony DeFabio and an RBI single by Rick Devereaux, but it was not enough to complete a comeback.
The Mountaineers hit the road again this week, traveling to Coppin State for a game on Tuesday, April 24 at 1 p.m. BIG EAST play resumes next weekend from April 27-29 at Seton Hall. Friday's game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., while Saturday's and Sunday's contests will begin at 1 p.m.