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Penn State Baseball Falls to Pitt at PNC Park, 11-3

PITTSBURGH– Last May, Penn State played Pitt in PNC Park and had a fantastic night, winning 19-6, with a 14-run top of the ninth being the highlight. 

Its next trip to PNC didn’t go nearly as well. 

Pitt took care of Penn State, 11-3, and ended PSU’s non conference slate. 

Penn State (24-23) drew first blood in the top of the third when leadoff man Thomas Bramley doubled home No. 9 hitter C.J. Pittaro to make it 1-0.

The lead wouldn’t last long. In the bottom half of the third, Pitt’s (23-27) Noah Martinez hit a three-run homer with two outs to put the home team ahead, 3-1. 

Pitt added on in its next at-bat on a solo homer by CJ Funk, making it 4-1.

Penn State chipped away in the fourth. A double by Pittsburgh-area native Josh Speigel, who graduated from Penn Trafford high school, scored Johnny Piacentino to make it 4-2 and put runners at second and third with one out. 

But Pitt reliever Holden Phelps struck out Grant Norris, then another Pitt reliever, Quin Konuszewski, got Jay Harry to fly out and end the threat.

Pitt extended the lead in its half of the sixth. A single by Jack Anderson was misplayed by Penn State left fielder Bobby Marsh, allowing Noah Martinez to score and make it 5-2. 

A two-run bases-loaded single by Justin Acal later made it 7-2 Pitt and virtually put the game to bed. Pitt added a run later in the inning, and a three-run homer by Kyle Hess in the seventh made it 10-2, and Pitt added another. 

Ryan Partridge got a surprise start for Penn State. The North Allegheny High School graduate in Wexford, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, pitched four innings, giving up four runs– all earned– on three hits, walking two, and striking out two more. Partridge had made 44 relief appearances, and this was his first start. 

For Pitt, Jonathan Bautista, another usual reliever, got the start. Bautista, who had previously made 18 of his 19 appearances this season out of the bullpen, gave up one run– earned– on three hits over three innings, striking out four, walking none and throwing a wild pitch. 

Martinez and Hess each went 2-4 with two runs scored and three RBI for Pitt, and Acal also had a 2-4 night with an RBI. 

Penn State has three games left, all against Maryland, which comes in for a three-game set in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The first game is scheduled for Thursday at 5. 

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