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Pitt Baseball

Pitt Blows Early Lead, Loses Big to Georgia Tech, 13-7 in Final Regular Season Game

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Pitt took an early lead and looked to avoid the sweep Saturday afternoon against Georgia Tech at Charles L. Cost Field. A rally from Georgia Tech in the fifth inning took the momentum and the Pitt offense fell off in the latter innings, letting Georgia Tech win, 13-7.

The Panthers (27-26 overall, 13-16 ACC) finishes its regular season on Saturday with four straight losses and only one win in their last eight games. The series against the Yellow Jackets (33-21 overall, 15-15 ACC) is just the second sweep in conference play for the Panthers, with the last coming away against North Carolina in March. The 39 runs this series are the most the Panthers allowed in an ACC series this season.

Panthers head coach Mike Bell said he loved the resilience his team put in today after going down big the previous two games. He also attributed the series sweep to Georgia Tech and their great offense, but said that his team had opportunities today where they just let the lead slip away.

“I thought we had some missed opportunities,” Bell said “Anytime you’re pitching with a lead, you need to make sure you attack the zone and play fundamental defense. We did a good job attacking the zone today. I felt like we had some balls that just basically, I don’t wanna say didn’t bounce our way, they just weren’t accumulated our way. On a windy day like today, not that it was communication or anything of that nature. Just some tough plays. Plays that in order to be successful in this game you’re going to need to make.”

Pitt managed to get off to a good start in the first inning, by not allowing any runs to score, as they let six runs score in the first inning the previous two games against Georgia Tech.

Panthers senior infielder Jeffrey Wehler walked to start the bottom half of the first inning and then junior designated hitter Tatem Levins doubled to score the opening run. After junior infielder Sky Duff struck out, senior outfielder Ron Washington Jr. doubled down the right field line and scored Levins to make it a 2-0 game.

Pitt starting pitcher, sophomore right-handed Logan Evans got into some trouble in the second inning, starting by giving up a walk and then hitting a batter. He managed to get out of the jam with a fly out, a strike out and then a ground out to end the frame.

The Panthers loaded the bases in the second inning, on two singles from junior infielder Brock Franks and senior outfielder Jordan Anderson and a walk from Levins. Duff hit a ball that went right at Yellow Jackets junior pitcher Chance Huff who caught it at the back stop and threw to first to end the potential rally.

The Yellow Jackets tied the game in the top of the third  inning, as sophomore infielder Andrew Jenkins crushed a ball over the right field wall for a two-run home run. Jenkins hit the go-ahead home run in the first game of the series on Thursday, one that went even farther over the left field wall.

Pitt responded in the bottom half as senior infielder Bryce Hulett hit a home run to right centerfield and then sophomore outfielder CJ Funk hit a home run to left centerfield, for back-to-back home runs, making it a 4-2 ball game.

Levins got hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning that put him on the ground, but he soon got up and hobbled to first base. Duff hit a ball that Georgia Tech pitcher, first-year Logan McGuire, caught for the out and threw to first to get Levins out. Instead of it being a great double play, McGuire threw a ball that went way out of Jenkins reach and Levins managed to make it to second base on the error. Levins then made it to third base on a wild pitch and stole home on another wild pitch, giving Pitt a 5-2 lead going into the fifth inning.

The Yellow Jackets got some luck to start the fifth inning as a ground ball hit by senior outfielder Colin Hall bounced off the glove of Franks to centerfield, which Hall used to make it to second base. Sophomore infielder Jadyn Jackson hit a ball to right field that Funk misjudged and it went all the way to the wall, allowing Jackson to make it into third for a triple and Hall to score, cutting the lead to two runs.

Georgia Tech sophomore Chandler Simpson hit a blooper in the next at-bat to left field, but Washington and Franks couldn’t get to it, allowing Jackson to score and Simpson to reach second base for a double.

Sophomore catcher Kevin Parada hit a big fly ball to centerfield, which Anderson caught, but his throw was slow back to Franks, letting Simpson run all the way from second base and sliding head-first safely, to tie the game at five runs a piece.

Jenkins then doubled and sophomore designated hitter Tim Borden II hit a ball that hit right off the right field wall. Borden scored Jenkins and then went to third base, but Duff couldn’t come up with the ball cleanly, allowing it to run past him and also, Borden to score from third. This made the triple an inside-the-park two-run home run and gave the Yellow Jackets an 8-5 lead.

 

Georgia Tech provided some more offense throughout the next few innings, with Hall leading off the sixth inning with a solo home run that hit off the centerfield wall, making it an 8-5 game.

Borden hit a fly ball to centerfield in the eighth inning that Anderson couldn’t locate properly, letting the ball bounce off his glove and also allowing two runners to score. Borden scored on the next-at bat as a ground ball from sophomore outfielder Stephen Reid hit off the glove of Franks and he didn’t handle it cleanly, giving the Yellow Jackets an 11-5 lead.

Pitt got some momentum back in the bottom of the eighth as Levins hit a double in the gap between left field and center field, scoring Wehler and sophomore outfielder Dom Popa who pinch-ran for Anderson to make it an 11-7 game.

The Panthers soon loaded the bases with two outs and Hulett hit a ball that looked to be going over the right field wall for a game-tying grand slam. Instead, it fell just short, right in the glove of sophomore Drew Compton for the final out of the inning.

Georgia Tech added more runs onto their lead in the top of the ninth inning, as Parada hit a two-run home run that hit the upper center field wall, making it a 13-7 game and also breaking the program record for home runs in a season by a single player.

Despite the poor finish to the season, Pitt still plays next week in the ACC Tournament at Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C. with Pool Play starting next Tuesday, May 24. Schedule for the tournament is released on Sunday once all games Saturday are completed.

“We’ll do exactly what we’ve done from day one,” Bell said on the team’s preparation for next week. “We’ll prepare in the right way, we’ll bring energy, we’ll bring effort. We’re banged up. We’re beat up. We’re beat down, but we’re gonna show a lot of fight and we’re gonna enjoy the tournament.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Kowboygoc
Kowboygoc
1 month ago

Another end to a shitty season. I don’t think this coach has the players to compete at this level. He also might not be the coach to get it done. A couple years in a row of complete collapse. Not acceptable, again.

March Madness

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