Pitt Baseball Falls to No. 14 Clemson Friday

CLEMSON, S.C. – A combined 20 runs crossed the plate in the opening game of the series at Clemson, as the 14th-ranked Tigers downed Pitt by a score of 14-6 Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

“Obviously we didn’t do the job on the bump today and those things happen,” said head coach Joe Jordano. “We had seven walks and a couple of hit batsmen, and quite a few of them scored. Offensively, we swung the bats pretty well and managed to score six runs off of 10 hits. Again, we played well defensively. Against very good teams like Clemson, we cannot give more opportunities than the game gives.

“I thought we battled at the plate, being down 6-1 early and being able to battle back to make it 6-5 made it a good ballgame. We just have to turn the page and come back focused tomorrow.”

The Panthers got on the board early as Jacob Wright sent a lead-off double deep down the right field line and was brought home by a Charles Leblanc single to center. The Panthers stranded Leblanc on first but took a 1-0 advantage after the first frame.

Falk encountered some trouble in the bottom of the inning, putting a pair of runners on with one out. The Panther defense came up big, as Seth Beer grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Tigers tied things up in the second as Falk sent a pitch past the glove of catcher Alex Kowalczyk and Weston Wilson scored from third. Falk got out of the inning as the next batter would fly out to Wright in left field and leave the score at 1-1.

The Panthers’ offense slowed down following the initial inning, but Clemson kept the momentum in its favor, recording a three-run third inning and a two-run fourth inning.

A single from Chase Pinder led off the third inning as he advanced to second on a wild pitch. Chris Okey would walk before both batters were put in scoring position on a wild pitch. Seth Beer sent a double to left center, scoring Pinder and a single from Wilson would bring around Okey. Jextin Pugh entered to pitch for the Panthers, surrendering a single to right center from Reed Rohlman scored Beer.

In the fourth, Pugh got a pair of quick outs but got into trouble late in the inning, loading the bases with a walk, single and hit by pitch. Beer would draw a walk to bring a runner around before another wild pitch would score Eli White.

The Panthers responded in the top of the fifth, as Aaron Schnurbusch started the inning off with a bunt single, followed by a single from Caleb Parry. The runners advanced as Matt Johnson put down a sacrifice bunt. A groundout from Wright would score Schnurbusch and Leblanc would send a single to right center in the next at bat to bring Parry home. Nick Yarnall cleared the bases with a two-run shot to right field to cut the Clemson lead to 6-5.

The Tigers plated another in the bottom of the fifth as a single from Jordan Greene brought home Chris Williams, who reached on a triple to center field.

It was another breakout inning for the Tigers in the sixth as they added five more in the frame to extend their lead to 12-5.

Pinder got things going with a single up the middle, followed by a single to second by Okey. Beer drew a walk to load the bases and another free base from Wilson brought Pinder around. Rohlman would send a single through the right side to score two before Jolly reached on a throwing error by Yanni to score Wilson. Isaac Mattson entered the game in relief of Garrett Wrambel and was able to get out of the inning following a sacrifice fly from Williams.

Caleb Parry sent a solo homer into the left field stands to kick off the Panthers’ seventh stanza to cut the Tigers’ lead to 12-6.

Clemson got that run back in the bottom half of the inning as an RBI single brought home Okey, who had reached on a double to left field. The Tigers earned another in the bottom of the eighth as a runner came across on a double play ball, putting Clemson up 14-6.

Josh Falk was credited with the loss, falling to 2-3 on the season. The starter pitched just 2.1 innings, allowing four earned runs off of five hits and two walks, striking out one. Leblanc led the offensive charge, going 3-of-4 with a pair of runs batted in and a run scored. Yarnall also added a pair of runs batted in.

The Panthers will return to Doug Kingsmore Stadium tomorrow for a 4 p.m. first pitch in game two. T.J. Zeuch will take the mound for his third start of the season, squaring off against Charlie Barnes. The series will conclude Sunday at 1 p.m. as Aaron Sandefur is set to start.

Live stats are available here and a live audio/video stream can also be viewed here.

Notes: Pitt falls to 12-10-0 on the season … the Panthers drop to 4-6-0 in the ACC on the season … as a staff, the Panthers allowed seven walks, tying the most surrendered on the season … Charles Leblanc recorded three hits on the season for his team-leading 13th multiple hit game of the season … Aaron Schnurbusch posted two hits, for his fifth multiple hit game of the season … Caleb Parry recorded a pair of hits for his fifth multi-hit game of the season … Leblanc had two RBIs on the afternoon, his sixth multiple RBI outing of the season … Yarnall earned two RBIs, his fourth multiple RBI game of the season … Alex Kowalczyk extended his hit-streak to three … Schnurbusch extended his reached-base streak to 12 … Jacob Wright extended his reached-base streak to nine … Kowalczyk snapped an eight-game reached-base streak … the Panthers allowed 10 or more runs for the first time since a loss to Florida State on March 18, 2016 … Nick Yarnall hit his sixth home run of the season and 10th of his career … Caleb Parry recorded his second home run of the season and second of his career … Pitt falls to 5-6-0 on the road and 1-3-0 in road ACC meetings … the Panthers drop to 2-5-0 against teams ranked in the top 25 … Pitt drops to 11-7-0 in day games and 7-7-0 in games played on grass … the Panthers fall to 4-4-0 in games in which they wear gray … Pitt drops to 6-8-0 against right handed starters … the Panthers drop to 1-8-0 when trailing after six and 0-9-0 when trailing after eight … the Panthers fall to 6-3-0 when they score first and 3-9-0 when they surrender six or more runs … Pitt is now 1-7-0 when it gets out hit … the Panthers drop to 9-3-0 when they record at least one home run and 7-5-0 when committing one or no errors … Pitt falls to 0-1-0 in the month of April and 3-4-0 on Fridays.


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