Pitt Baseball Swept by No. 4 Miami (Fla.)

MIAMI – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team fell to No. 4 Miami 8-4 in the series finale at Alex Rodriguez Park Sunday afternoon.

(Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

With the loss, the Hurricanes sweep the season series. Miami wins the regular season Coastal Division championship for the third consecutive year.

The Panthers struck first in the second inning, taking a 1-0 lead early on. Aaron Schnurbusch would draw a full-count walk, moving to second on a balk. A walk ushered to David Yanni would put a pair on the corners before an RBI single off the bat of Manny Pazos plated Schnurbusch.

Pitt make it a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, as a there straight singles from Jacob Wright, Charles Leblanc and Alex Kowalczyk allowed the Panthers to take the two-run advantage.

The Hurricanes would tie it up in the bottom of the third, as a lead-off walk and a triple to right field brought home the first Miami runner of the game. The Hurricanes tied it up off of a sacrifice fly from Christopher Barr.

The Panthers regained the advantage in the fifth, taking a 3-2 lead. Leblanc would draw a walk on a full count, before a double hit into the left field corner would allow the shortstop to score. Pitt stranded a pair in the frame, but the Panthers came out on top for the second time in the contest.

Miami responded in the bottom of the fame, scoring four to jump out to a 6-3 lead. Aaron Sandefur would get the first out of the inning but Carl Chester would reach on an error by Ronnie Sherman, moving to third on a wild pitch. A single from Christopher Barr would bring Chester home to tie the game. Zack Collins took a walk to put runners on first and second before a single from Brandon Lopez singled to give the Hurricanes the 4-3 lead.

Josh Mitchell would take over on the bump for Sandefur, inheriting runners on first and second and a 2-0 count to Johnny Ruiz. Mitchell would walk Ruiz to load the bases. Willie Abreu would ground into a fielder’s choice and would-be double play before an error on Leblanc allowed another to score, giving Miami a 6-3 advantage.

In the sixth, Manny Pazos and Frank Maldonado drew back-to-back walks, advancing on a failed pickoff attempt. An RBI groundout by Leblanc would allow Pazos to score as Pitt cut the Miami lead to 6-4.

Not letting up, the Hurricanes added a two-run sixth inning to extend its lead to 8-4. A lead-off single from Edgar Michelangeli and infield single from Chester put a pair on the corners with one out, as Chester would score second and a throwing error on Pazos would allow Michelangeli to take home. Chester would steal third and be brought home on a sacrifice fly from Barr.

The scoreboard would blank for the remaining three innings of play as Miami would hold on to take a 8-4 victory to sweep the series.

Sandefur earns the loss, falling to 3-5 on the season after tossing 4.1 innings, allowing four hits and three earned runs with four walks and four strikeouts. In relief, Josh Mitchell and Garett Wrambel each threw 1.1 innings, while Isaac Mattson tossed the ninth frame.

Offensively, Wright went 2-of-4 on the afternoon, added a run scored and a walk, while Pazos and Leblanc each added a hit, run scored and an RBI.

With the loss, Pitt falls to 25-23-0, 10-16-0 in the ACC. The Panthers will return to Charles L. Cost Field for the regular season finale Thursday, Friday and Saturday as they welcome Duke in a pivotal ACC series.

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