The euphoria of last weekend’s sweep of nationally-ranked Florida State has been quickly marred after Pitt baseball (6-3 overall, 3-2 ACC) dropped the second of a three-game set against Duke (6-4 overall, 3-2 ACC) by a final score of 8-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers offense was once again deathly silent. Just like on Friday, Pitt could muster only one run, not nearly enough to keep up with the potent bats of their oppositions.
The story of the game was Duke’s sophomore righty Henry Williams. He held the Panthers scoreless with ease through five of his six innings of work. He struck out 11 — a career high — and allowed just one run over 105 pitches.
Pitt was futile at the plate. Head coach Mike Bell reached deep into his bench, calling upon 13 different hitters to try and find some kind of spark, but it was to no avail. As a team they struck out 18 times in game two of the series.
A solo home run in the sixth inning from redshirt senior second baseman David Yanni was the only run the Panthers could plate all afternoon.
Junior righty Matt Gilbertson was uncharacteristically erratic in his third start of the season. He walked three Blue Devils on Saturday, more than he’d allowed through his first two starts of the season combined.
He exited after giving up seven runs, only six of them earned, through five innings and 98 pitches.
And it doesn’t get easier from here. More uncertainty awaits in Sunday’s contest. With typical Sunday starting pitcher, sophomore Billy Corcoran, unavailable for the second straight week, Pitt has yet to name a starter for tomorrow’s game.
Another of the few consolations to come from Saturday’s loss for Pitt was the performance of the bullpen. In three innings of relief, senior righty Chris Gomez, graduate lefty Corey Sawyer and junior righty Chase Smith allowed just one run on one hit and a pair of walks.
The Blue Devil attack was led by senior first baseman Chris Crabtree, who turned in a four-hit, two-RBI day at the plate. He scored three of the
Pitt will try to salvage at least one win from the three game set Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. from Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.