Making his first career start, sophyomore pitcher J.R. Leonardi, a Taylor-Allderdice High School graduate, led Pitt to a 9-2 victory at Akron on Tuesday.
Leonardi pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs while striking out eight.
"The coaches have been prepping me for a start the past few weeks, so I was definitely ready for it to happen," Leonardi said. "I felt good warming up and just went out there and tried to execute. I got a little tired as the game went on and unfortunately, in the fifth, they strung a few hits together, but (Dave) Yakopec came in and shut them down."
Leonardi carried a shutout into the sixth inning. He struck out the first five batters he faced, four swinging.
“J.R. did a solid job for us," Pitt coach Joe Jordano said.
(photo courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh)