In the program’s first ACC Tournament, Pitt baseball has made a mark.
The Panthers knocked off top-seeded North Carolina 5-4 on Wednesday night, going a perfect 2-0 in pool play and advancing to the tournament semifinals.
In a back-and-forth contest, Pitt took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh inning when freshman outfielder Chris Cappas hit his second run-scoring extra-base hit of the postseason to tie the game, and then catcher Cole MacLaren put down a suicide squeeze that scored Caleb Parry.
Reliever Derek West (3-4) earned the win and pitched five scoreless innings while walking one and striking out three.
North Carolina plated three against Panthers starter Dan Hammer, who pitched 2 1/3 innings. Pitt tied the game back up in the bottom of the third when Frank Maldonado and David Yanni hit back-to-back doubles and Nick Banman drove in Yanni with an RBI single.
Pitt absorbed a piece of tough luck in the fourth, as Maldonado was called for batter’s interference while Connor Perry was stealing second. Perry ended up on third after a throwing error, but instead, was put back at first and Maldonado was called out. He did not make any contact with North Carolina catcher Brandon Martorano. Pitt coach Joe Jordano protested the call to no effect.
The Tar Heels took the lead in the top of the fifth. R.J. Freure gave up a single and a pair of walks before Jordano went to the bullpen for West, who limited the damage with a double play and a ground out.
Pitt will play the winner of Pool D (either Louisville or Duke) on Saturday at 1 p.m.