Pitt Baseball Hosts No. 25 Georgia Tech Over Weekend

Pittbaseball
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team will return to Charles L. Cost Field this weekend, welcoming No. 25 Georgia Tech for a three-game series.

(Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) rivals will face off on ESPN3 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the Panthers compete in their fourth series against a nationally ranked opponent of the season.

HOW TO FOLLOW
§ Live stats provided by GameTracker via pittsburghpanthers.com
§ ESPN3 will live broadcast the outing via WatchESPN or the WatchESPN App

LEADING OFF
§ Pitt (13-11-0, 5-7 ACC) returns home to face No. 25 Georgia Tech (22-7-0, 6-6-0 ACC) for a three-game series at Charles L. Cost Field
§ The Panthers are coming off of a 7-0 shutout loss at the hands of Penn State on Tuesday
§ In Pitt’s last ACC outing, the Panthers took game two of a three-game stand against No. 24 Clemson, as Pitt took a 15-5 decision over the Tigers
§ Georgia Tech is coming off of a pair of non-conference victories as the Yellow Jackets knocked off Mercer (6-5) and Kennesaw State (4-2)on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively
§ The Yellow Jackets opened last weekend’s series vs. Duke with a 3-2 win, but fell in the final two contests to drop the series

SCOUTING GEORGIA TECH
§ Junior Connor Justus paces the Georgia Tech offense, batting .395 (45-of-114) with 29 starts, including 12 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 19 RBIs
§ Kel Johnson has brought the most men around for the Yellow Jackets with 30 RBIs on the season in addition to an on-base percentage of .652
§ On the bump, Brandon Gold is the ace of the Georgia Tech staff, with a 3-1 record over seven starts and an ERA of 2.23, allowing just 47 hits through 44.1 innings of work
§ Also scheduled to get a start on the weekend, Zac Ryan has earned a record of 1-0 in six appearances (four starts) with an ERA of 4.50 in 16.0 innings of work

SERIES WITH GEORGIA TECH
§ The Panthers hold the all-time series advantage with the Yellow Jackets, 4-2, in a series that dates back to Pitt’s inaugural ACC season in 2014
§ Pitt opened up the history books with a sweep of the then 23rd-ranked Yellow Jackets at Charles L. Cost Field
§ The following season (2015), Georgia Tech took two-of-three from Pitt on its home field

STREAKING
§ The Panthers’ poor offensive output against Penn State snapped several streaks, as just two Panthers carry hit streaks into the weekend
§ Ron Sherman leads the way with a five-game mark, while Caleb Parry has hit in four straight
§ On the season, Charles Leblanc and Nick Yarnall have each posted 10-game hit streaks, while Sherman’s longest mark ended at nine games
§ Parry paces the Panthers with a seven-game reached-base streak, while Sherman’s mark stands at six
§ Yarnall and Aaron Schnurbusch have each copped 13-game on-base streaks this season

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 .423 through 24 games, recording 41 hits to tie for fifth in the conference
· In addition, Leblanc has posted a team-high 15 multiple hit games and seven multiple RBI performances, including a six-RBI outing against Clemson (April 2) and a five-RBI showing at Grambling State (Feb. 28)

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

UP NEXT
§ Pitt will head to West Virginia on Tuesday for a mid-week battle with the Mountaineers in Granville, W.Va.
§ A road ACC series will follow as the Panthers are set to meet with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on April 15-17

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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