Pittsburgh Rallies Into Big East Baseball Semifinals

Championship Central

Box Score
Highlights
Joe Jordano Interview
Ronald Sucre Interview
Final Stats

CLEARWATER, Fla. -  Third baseman Ronald Sucre's RBI double with two out in the bottom of the 12th capped Pittsburgh's comeback from an early 5-1 deficit and gave the Panthers a 7-6 win against Seton Hall in an elimination game of the Big East Baseball Championship Friday afternoon at Bright House Field.
 
The win puts the third-seeded Panthers (42-16) in the semifinal round of the Big East Championship for the first time since 2005 and eliminates Seton Hall (37-18), the tournament's No. 2 seed. Pittsburgh will face Notre Dame Saturday at 10 a.m. in the semifinal round and would need to beat the Irish twice to reach Sunday's final.
 
Sucre's shot over the leftfielder came just one pitch after John Peluso stole second to get into scoring position. Peluso had battled back from an 0-2 count to draw a two-out walk.
 
After three Panther pitchers allowed a combined six runs in the first seven innings, reliever Joe Harvey worked 5.1 shutout innings to get the win. Harvey struck out three and allowed four hits to improve to 4-1.
 
The Panthers faced a 5-1 deficit after four innings and trailed 6-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh. But Sam Parente's two-run double down the rightfield line brought Pitt within one, before Parente came around to score when the Pirates couldn't handle Peluso's grounder to second. 
 
Seton Hall had manufactured runs in each of the first two innings before tacking on two more in the third on Scott Kalamar's double off the wall in rightfield. Seton Hall gained a 4-1 lead in the fourth when Giuseppe Papaccio's fly ball to right was lost in the sun, falling in for a double and scoring Zack Weigel from first.
 
Parente went 3-for-5 with a double and a triple to pace the Pitt lineup, which had 12 hits. Sucre, who came in as a pinch hitter in the fourth inning, went 2-for-5.
 
Seton Hall had 17 hits as Papaccio, Kalamar and Zack Weigel all went 3-for-6, but the Pirates left 16 men on base. Reliever Brian Gilbert took the loss, falling to 4-4 despite working five solid innings.
 
Seton Hall, which suffered its second loss of the tournament, will await Monday's NCAA Championship selections to learn of its next opponent.