The weather didn’t exactly cooperate with the Pitt baseball team’s plans this weekend in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as the Panthers had one game canceled and played another after a postponement and a pair of rain delays.
But their plans for victory on the baseball field came through, as the Panthers return to Pittsburgh with victories over USC Upstate and Bucknell to improve their record to 3-3 on the season.
Starting pitcher Dan Hammer epitomized the spirit of the weekend for the Panthers. Expected to be the starter on Friday, Hammer had his start pushed back first to Saturday and then even later on Saturday as the weather put a damper on the proceedings.
It didn’t seem to bother Hammer. He struck out 10 over four innings, allowing just one run on three hits.
“I just tried to keep a calm mind, control what I can control and just let the game dictate when I’m going to pitch,” the junior right-hander said after Saturday’s win over USC Upstate. “We were just pounding the fastball a lot, especially with two strikes. Just trying to locate inside, outside and then mix in with the off-speed stuff when we needed to.”
Hammer is 2-0 on the season with a 2.89 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. He’s struck out 18 batters in 9 1/3 innings, second amongst ACC pitchers. He is also second amongst all ACC pitchers with more than nine innings pitched with 17.36 strikeouts per nine innings.
Pitt also got an improved offensive performance. Ron Washington, Jr. hit three doubles on the weekend, Nico Popa hit two and David Yanni hit his first home run of the season in the win over Bucknell on Sunday.
Pitt 6, USC Upstate 3
Pitt 8, Bucknell 2
Next weekend, Pitt will play in the Russmatt Central Florida Invitational with four games in Kissimmee, Florida.
Pitt will play Hofstra at 5 p.m. on Friday, Saint Peters at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Butler at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Central Michigan at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The Panthers will return home for their home opener against Youngstown State on March 5.