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Pitt

Mitch Myers, Pitt Shut Out No. 9 FSU to Win ACC Opener

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Pitt baseball opened the 2021 ACC slate on Friday evening against Florida State. The Panthers (4-1 overall, 1-0 ACC) topped the Seminoles (2-2 overall, 0-1 ACC) behind a career night from junior starting pitcher Mitch Meyers, who threw an even 100 pitches’ worth of shut out baseball in his second start of the season.  

The game was a pitcher’s duel through the end of the third inning., but Pitt broke through in the fourth. Junior designated hitter Ron Washington Jr. opened the top half of the inning with a double down the left field line. Washington was one of the few productive members of Pitt’s offense. He recorded three hits — two singles in addition to the double. 

The very next hitter, junior first baseman Bryce Hulett, launched a fly ball that hit off of the top of the center field wall. What appeared to be a home run was instead ruled a double, but scored Washington from second nonetheless to make it 1-0 Pitt.

That would be the lone score of the game for either team. Neither Myers, nor FSU’s redshirt freshman starting pitcher, Parker Messick, flinched through the first three frames. Messick utilized electric velocity — his hardest pitch topped out at 94 miles per hour — and a devastating breaking ball to tie the Panther lineup down periodically.

Hullett’s RBI double was the lone blemish on Messick’s final line. His nine strikeouts covered for four walks in five innings of one-run pitching. 

The four Seminoles who appeared out of the bullpen — redshirt senior Kwiatkowski, redshirt junior Jonah Scolaro and redshirt senior Chase Haney — were solid as well. They silenced the Panther offense through the final four innings of the game, allowing no runs and only two hits. 

But Myers was the story of the game. He used masterful variation on his location to fluster the Florida State offense. As the first pitcher to face an ACC opponent this season, Myers would also be the first to push his limits in a full start. In last weekend’s series against Indiana State, head coach Mike Bell limited his starters to no more than five innings, but on Friday he let Myers rack up a triple-digit pitch count.

Myers threw an even 100 pitches on Friday night. The Semionles could only turn two of those pitches into hits. FSU hitters instead fell victim to Myers’ pinpoint accuracy. The Panther starter mixed locations often, but returned to an elevated fastball frequently. He used that pitch to complete many of his career-high 13 strikeouts on Friday night.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, with senior closer Jordan McCrum on the mound, FSU pushed the Panthers right to the edge. Redshirt sophomore shortstop Nander De Satis led off the inning with a double and redshirt junior Jackson Greene advanced him to third with a sacrifice bunt. A pair of walks and a strikeout later, McCrum was facing the redshirt senior pinch hitter Nico Baldor with the bases loaded and two out. 

McCrum disposed of Baldor in three pitches and punctuated the jam-relieving strikeout with a fist bump. 

The Seminoles threatened to tie the game once again in the bottom of the ninth. McCrum lost a two-strike count and walked De Sedas to make it first and third for FSU with two away. But McCrum came through once again in the clutch. He delivered a three-pitch strikeout of freshman pinch-hitter Vince Smith to secure the upset victory for PItt. 

The Panthers will continue their series against the Seminoles on Saturday night. Matt Gilbertson is scheduled to start on the mound for Pitt vs. freshman Carson Montgomery for Florida State.

What was originally a 6 p.m. start has been pushed back to 8 p.m. Tomorrow night will mark the first time a Pitt baseball game is broadcast on the ACC Network.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Crackerjack Kid
Crackerjack Kid
5 months ago

Great game. What fantastic pitching performance. Gotta get the bats going!

Dennis Lester
Dennis Lester
5 months ago

Forgot to mention the 2 strikeouts Dylan Lester had to get to the eighth inning…. His job was to specifically to connect the starter tothe closer in this situation!

 
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