Pitt Baseball at Virginia Tech this Weekend

PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team will hit the road for a three-game series at Virginia Tech, Friday through Sunday.

The contests are set to get underway Friday at 5 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday scheduled for 1 p.m. from English Field at Union Park in Blacksburg, Va.

LEADING OFF

§ Pitt (15-13-0, 6-8-0 ACC) is fresh off of a victory over heated rival West Virginia in a mid-week contest Tuesday evening

§ The Panthers have rattled off two straight wins, as they took a 13-6 decision over No. 25 Georgia Tech at Cost Field in the series finale of a two-game stand with the Yellow Jackets

§ Virginia Tech (11-22-0, 2-13-0 ACC) fell to Radford Wednesday afternoon

§ The Hokies snapped a 17-game losing streak with a win at No. 11 UNC on April 10, as Virginia Tech knocked off the Tar Heels 4-3 to claim their second ACC victory of the year, the first since a 14-3 win over top-five Miami (FL)

SCOUTING VIRGINIA TECH

§ A pair of Hokies have posted an average above the .300 mark, as Phil Sciretta (.338) and Saige Jacob (.327) pace the Hokie offense

§ Sciretta is one of two Hokies with more than 20 RBIs on the season, as he leads the way with 26, going 44-of-130 in 33 starts

§ On the bump, a trio of lefties lead the way as Kit Scheets, Jon Woodcock and Packy Naughton will get the start for Virginia Tech

§ Scheetz has the lowest ERA of the starting staff, with a 4.28 in eight starts, competing to a 3-4 record with 34 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 48.1 innings pitched

§ Woodcock has fallen to 1-7 on the season with a 6.47 ERA, while Naughton has a mark of 2-4 with an ERA of 7.16

SERIES WITH VIRGINIA TECH

§ The Panthers hold a 13-12 all-time series advantage over the Hokies in a series dating back to the 1980 season

§ Pitt was swept by the Hokies in the opening ACC series between the two squads in Blacksburg, Va., but claimed a 2-1 series victory last year at Charles L. Cost Field

§ In last season’s meetings, Pitt outscored Virginia Tech 21-13 with a pair of 7-0 shutout victories led by the arms of Aaron Sandefur and T.J. Zeuch

PITT RANKS IN TOP 30 IN RPI

§ The Panthers check in at No. 33 in the latest RPI rankings, having competed in one of the toughest schedules to open the season

§ Pitt has knocked off four nationally ranked opponents in the last five weeks with wins over No. 6 UNC, No. 11 Florida State, No. 14 Clemson and No. 25 Georgia Tech

§ The four wins over nationally ranked opponents are the most since Pitt claimed six in 2014, competing in its first season as a member of the ACC

STREAKING

§ Frank Maldonado and Jacob Wright each bring three-game hit-streaks into the weekend, as Charles Leblanc has posted a hit in two straight

§ Leblanc and Nick Yarnall have each posted 10-game marks on the season, while Ron Sherman earned a nine-game mark

§ Sherman leads the way with an eight-game reached base streak, while Yarnall, Wright, David Yanni., Leblanc and Maldonado have each reached safely in three consecutive outings

§ Aaron Schnurbusch and Yarnall have posted 13-game marks on the season, while P.J. DeMeo, Wright, Yanni and Leblanc have each earned 10-game streaks

UP NEXT

§ The Panthers will head to Youngstown, Ohio for a single game before returning to Charles L. Cost Field for a three-game series with Miami (Ohio) April 22-24

§ Conference play will resume on April 30 as Pitt welcomes reigning national champion Virginia to the Cost for a doubleheader

TRUST IN CHARLES

§ Shortstop Charles Leblanc has been dominant for the Panthers this season, leading one of the top offenses in the nation in just his second season of collegiate baseball

§ Leblanc is fourth in the ACC with an average of .415 through 27 games, recording 32 RBIs, good for seventh in the conference

§ In addition, Leblanc has posted a team-high 16 multiple hit games and eight multiple RBI performances, including a six-RBI outing against Clemson (April 2) and a five-RBI showing at Grambling State (Feb. 28)

LEBLANC GARNERS PERFECT GAME ALL-AMERICA HONORS

§ The honors continue to roll in for shortstop Charles Leblanc, as he was named a Perfect Game All-American last week

§ Leblanc checked in on the second team, joining the cast of nine ACC players to make the cut

LEBLANC NAMED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

§ After a 12-RBI performance in four games, shortstop Charles Leblanc was named the ACC Player of the Week on April 4

§ Leblanc went 9-of-13 on the weekend with an outstanding nine RBIs, batting .692 in the three games against Clemson

§ Leblanc’s offensive surge led the Panthers to a 15-5 victory over nationally-ranked Clemson in game two of the series as the shortstop went 4-of-5 with six RBIs

§ Leblanc posted similar numbers in the mid-week win over Kent State, going 2-of-4 with two runs scored and three RBI to bring his four-game average to an impressive .647 (11-of-17) with 12 RBI in four games

SANDEFUR COPS ACC PITCHER OF THE WEEK RECOGNITION

· Following a record setting performance in the second game of the series with Boston College, senior Aaron Sandefur was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week

· Sandefur fanned a career-high 12 Eagle batters, the most ever by a Pitt pitcher at Charles L. Cost Field

· Just as impressive, Sandefur shutout the Eagles, tossing a complete game without surrendering a walk and allowing just five hits

BYE BYE BYE

· The Panthers’ offense was dominant in a 13-5 win over Kent State on Wednesday, March 30 as Pitt had a pair of players with two home runs and three players with three or more RBIs

· Both Alex Kowalczyk and Ron Sherman went yard twice in the outing, as Kowalczyk recorded his sixth and seventh homers of the season and Sherman marked his fourth and fifth bombs of the year

· In addition to Kowalczyk’s five RBIs and Sherman’s three, shortstop Charles Leblanc posted three of his own with a two-RBI double in the second inning and a single in the sixth

THE ACE IS BACK

§ Pittsburgh ace T.J. Zeuch made his season debut against No. 11 Florida State on Sunday, March 20, taking the hill on the snowy Pittsburgh afternoon

§ Zeuch had a no-hitter going through five innings as the righty tossed 6.0 innings, giving up zero unearned runs and just one walk, while fanning eight batters

§ In his second start of the season, a Saturday matchup with Boston College, the junior went 7.0 innings, allowing one run off of six hits, while not surrendering a walk but fanning 11 batters

JORDANO EARNS 800TH CAREER VICTORY

· Panther skipper Joe Jordano earned his 800th career victory in a 18-5 win at Grambling State on Feb. 28

· Jordano is the winningest coach in Pitt history, earning 524 victories in his 19-year tenure

· The 2013 and 2014 Big East Coach of the Year, Jordano has moved to 807-569-2 in his career, with 10 years at Mercyhurst prior to joining the Panthers in 1998

YARNALL EARNS WEEKLY AWARDS

§ Utility man Nick Yarnall collected a pair of weekly awards following the Grambling State series, as the Landsville, Pa., native was named the Co-ACC Player of the Week and one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of the Week

§ Yarnall dominated in the three-game stand, batting to a .571 average, going 8-of-14 with five home runs and eight runs batted in

§ The junior led the Panthers in average, hits, home runs, runs batted in, total basses, slugging percentage and on-base percentage on the weekend

§ Yarnall went yard twice in one inning in two contests, sending two balls over the fence in the fifth inning of the second game and going deep twice in the seventh inning of the series finale.

GOING THE DISTANCE

§ It was a long weekend of baseball for Pitt at the Historic Dodgertown Classic as three of the four outings approached or surpassed the four-hour mark

§ The Panthers competed in a 4:07 nine-inning contest against Niagara, an 11-8 loss against Ohio State in 13 innings checked in at 4:54, while the final game of the tournament lasted 3:56

ZEUCH GARNERS TOP ACC PROSPECT HONORS

§ Junior starting pitcher T.J. Zeuch was named to D1 Baseball’s Top Prospects List for the 2016 draft, checking in at No. 7 on the list as the fourth-highest ranked pitcher

§ Zeuch also earned the honor from Baseball America, checking in at No. 8 as the fifth-highest ranked pitcher

§ He earned a 5-6 record in 2015, posting a 3.87 ERA in 14 starts with 90 strikeouts and just 25 walks, while posting a respectable 1.36 WHIP

RETURNING TALENT

§ Pitt returns a majority of its starters, as seven fielders with 30 or more starts and two pitchers with 10 or more starts will return for the 2016 campaign

§ T.J. Zeuch leads the way on the mound with a record of 5-6 in 14 starts, recording 90 strikeouts in 88.1 innings pitched in 2015

§ At the dish, Charles LeBlanc collected a .291 average in his freshman year, leading the Panthers with 57 hits, including 12 doubles, three triples and three home runs in addition to a .429 slugging percentage and 30 runs batted in

NCAA CHAMPS TO VISIT COST

§ Pitt will welcome reigning national champion Virginia to Charles L. Cost Field for a doubleheader on Saturday, April 30 before concluding the three-game series on Sunday, May 1

§ Virginia dropped the first game of the 2015 College World Series to Vanderbilt 3-1 before storming back to capture the next two wins to secure the first National Championship in program history

§ The Panthers have managed to win a game versus Virginia in each of the past two seasons, taking the first win in Cary, N.C., last season and earning a 2-4-0 record against the Cavaliers since joining the ACC


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