Billy Corcoran pitched 5 1/3 innings of shutout relief and Pitt scratched across one run on three hits to beat Virginia Tech on Sunday, 1-0 for the Panthers’ first ACC win under first-year head coach Mike Bell.
The victory stopped an eight-game slide for the Panthers, who started conference play with a three-game sweep at the hands of NC State and lost mid-week games to Penn State and Youngstown before driving the first two games of the weekend series with the Hokies by a combined score of 27-5.
But in the third game, Pitt finally got the kind of pitching and defensive performance that had escaped it so far during conference play.
Corcoran (1-2) was a spark on the mound, pitching for the second time in the weekend after allowing two runs on two hits in a starting appearance on Friday night.
This time around, he allowed just two hits over 5 1/3, entering in the fourth inning and not yielding until Chase Smith came in with one out in the ninth to lock down the save. Corcoran allowed just one walk and hit one batter and the error-prone Pitt defense, which leads the ACC with 36 errors, held its ground to keep the Hokies off the board. Corcoran’s win was the first of his collegiate career.
Pitt was held to three hits on the day, as Virginia Tech starter Peyton Alford was even stingier than Corcoran, allowing one hit in 5 1/3 innings.
But the Panthers were able to manufacture a run in the fourth. Connor Perry led off the inning with a walk. Cole MacLaren executed a sacrifice bunt to move him to second and Ron Washington, Jr. singled, moving Perry to third. He scored on a David Yanni fielder’s choice.
Christian Camacho, also pitching for the second time in the weekend for Pitt, started but lasted just one inning. Brady Devereux and David Moore each pitched hitless innings of relief. Smith’s save was his second of the season.
The Panthers will host Kent State in midweek action on Wednesday before returning to ACC play with a three-game trip to Virginia on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wednesday’s game at Cost Field will have a 3 p.m. first pitch.