Joe Jordano Interview Ethan Mildren Interview Highlights
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Leftfielder Boo Vazquez and third baseman Sam Parente both went 2-for-4 and starting pitcher Ethan Mildren worked eight strong innings to lead Pittsburgh to a 10-2 win against St. John's in the opening game of the 2013 BIG EAST Baseball Championship Wednesday at Bright House Field.
Pittsburgh moves on in the winners' bracket to face either Notre Dame or Seton Hall Thursday at 1 p.m. St. John's will play an elimination game at 10 a.m. Thursday against the Notre Dame-Seton Hall loser.
The Panthers, who led the Big East in runs (422), hits (585) and batting (.305) during the regular season, had nine hits Wednesday, which was more than enough for Mildren, the All-Big East First Team selection who scattered four hits and struck out five in eight innings to improve to 10-3 on the season.
Pittsburgh scored all the runs it would need in the bottom of the second inning, when the Panthers took advantage of four hits and a Red Storm error to put four on the scoreboard. Vazquez led off the inning with a double down the rightfield line and came on to score on Sam Parente's base hit to center. Designated hitter Ronald Sucre followed with a two-run base hit to right that gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead.
St. John's cut into the lead in the top of the fourth as Sean O'Hare's base hit to left brought in Pat Talbut, who led off with a single to center. Frank Schwindel scored the Red Storm's second run when he scored from second after a fielder's choice and a throwing error to make it 4-2.
Pitt broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth when, after a St. John's error allowed another run to score, Evan Oswald's followed with a two-run triple to left-center to make it 7-2. The Panthers added three more in the bottom of the eighth, gaining a 10-2 lead on a sacrifice fly to center by Steven Shelinsky Jr.
Mildren allowed just four singles in eight innings of work as he lowered his earned-run average to 2.35. Jonathan Danielczyk worked a scoreless ninth inning for the Panthers.
Schwindel was the only St. John's player with multiple hits as he went 2-for-4. Starting pitcher Sean Hagan took the loss, falling to 4-7 after he allowed seven runs (four earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts.
The game was delayed by rain for an hour and 11 minutes in the top of the fourth inning.