Pitt and Notre Dame dodged the rain all weekend, and were eventually able to get their three-game series at Charles L. Cost Field played, and the Panthers picked up an important win, while the Fighting Irish took two of three to win the weekend series.
The Panthers took a 4-2 decision on Saturday, with starting pitcher Derek West continuing his recent strong play. West went 6 1/3 innings and struck out six while allowing two runs on four hits. But he left the game with a 2-0 deficit.
Pitt got one run back in the seventh, why Sky Hess doubled in Connor Perry and then scored three runs in the eighth, when Bryce O’Farrell drew a bases-loaded walk, Ron Washington, Jr. drove in Gregory Ryan, Jr. with a single to left and Perry plated O’Farrell with a sacrifice fly.
Staked to a lead, receiver Chase Smith went 2 2/3, while allowing just one hit to earn his second win of the season.
The victory was the fourth in ACC play for the Panthers, and an important one as they look to make up ground in the ACC standings.
Pitt entered the weekend three games behind Virginia and Virginia Tech, who are tied for the final spot in the ACC tournament. All three teams went 1-3. There are nine conference games remaining in the regular season.
After Friday’s opener was postponed to Saturday, the teams were supposed to play a doubleheader, but the second game was delayed and then postponed to Sunday, before Notre Dame finished off a 9-0 victory.
Right-hander Dan Hammer (2-5) was victimized for eight runs (six earned) over six innings and gave up 11 hits, while Cameron Junker (2-2) and Zack Martin combined for a shutout for Notre Dame. Pitt was 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
In the series finale, which started after the end of the suspended game on Sunday, Pitt jumped out to an early lead, but wasn’t able to build on it and then things unraveled on freshman starter Billy Corcoran later in the outing, as the Irish prevailed, 4-1.
In the second, Nico Popa singled, stole second and scored on Cole MacLaren’s single, but MacLaren was thrown out trying to advance to second to end the inning. Irish starter Cameron Brown (2-5) then sat down the next six Panthers in order.
In the fifth inning, a leadoff double by Daniel Jung was more than Corcoran (1-5) could work around. Carter Putz drove him in with a single and then scored after a pair of bunts. Jung added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Pitt does not have a mid-week game this week, as the Panthers are off until they host Presbyterian for a three-game non-conference series that starts on Friday, April 26 and wraps with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 27 at Cost Field.