Pitt Panthers pitcher Billy Corcoran has averaged just under one strikeout per inning during his college career. A 6-foot-8 power pitcher with a deceptive changeup he can throw like a fastball, Corcoran was drafted by the Texas Rangers out of high school but honored his commitment to the Panthers.
Making his first start of the season on Saturday, Feb. 19 in Port Charlotte, Fla., however, Corcoran had to take a different approach.
“After my third inning, I told my coaches I felt like I left some of my stuff back at the hotel room,” Corcoran said. “My changeup really wasn’t working.”
He struggled with control in the first inning, walking two batters, but was able to escape unscathed. Corcoran carried a shutout into the sixth inning, his last, before allowing two runs as he got tired. Without his strikeout pitch on tap, Corcoran pitched to contact, racking up 11 groundouts, seven flyouts, and not a single strikeout.
It helped that the Panthers scored in each of their first three innings, building a 9-0 lead.
“All I really had to do was command my stuff, it just ended up working out where I could throw some of my pitches [that were working] and get outs,” Corcoran said. “I got a lot of soft contact, and we had a big lead, my job was really to get outs and get my team back in the dugout.”
Corcoran had a strong outing, but the Panthers stumbled out of the gate, going 2-2 against Canisius. He isn’t resting on his laurels as he prepares for the Music City College Classic in Nashville this weekend.
“I think that we didn’t start off on a good note,” Corcoran said. “It was the first weekend and we’ve got time, and I think this weekend is a good chance to prove ourselves.
Pitt started the 2022 season by splitting a 4-game series against Canisus and are back on the field today at Noon as they take on Bradley today and tomorrow. The Panthers will also have a game tomorrow against Lipscomb and one on Sunday.