Virginia Too Much for Pitt Baseball

PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team fell in game three of the weekend series with reigning national champion Virginia Sunday afternoon, as Pitt dropped a 9-1 decision.

(Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

Virginia dominated from the start as Pitt was swept for the first time this season.

Josh Falk earned the start on the mound, coming off of a one-inning outing in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader.

In the first inning, lead-off hitter Ernie Clement sent a single through the left side as Virginia put two men on following an error by Falk. Catcher Matt Thaiss would send a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Clement to score.

The Cavaliers would add another in the second as a single to left field scored the second Virginia runner of the game.

Tyler Garbee would take over on the mound for Pitt in the third, as the freshman struggled, surrendering three runs on three hits and a walk, failing to produce an out. Skipper Joe Jordano would summon the bullpen once again, as Isaac Mattson took over.

Mattson would pitch a solid five innings of work for the Panthers, despite inheriting a 5-0 deficit. The righty tossed 5.0 innings of work, allowing just four hits and one earned run, a solo home run in the seventh.

In the eighth, a pair would come across for Virginia as a triple from Clement to center field scored Cameron Simmons and Jack Gerstenmaier and put the Cavaliers up 8-0. Virginia would add an insurance run in the ninth after Thaiss singled up the middle, moving to third on a pair of wild pitches from Yaya Chentouf, before scoring off a groundout by Pavin Smith.

The Pitt offense broke up the shutout in the ninth, scoring its lone run of the game. Alex Kowalczyk singled up the middle to start the inning, moving to second on a walk ushered to Ronnie Sherman. After a pitching change from the Cavaliers, Frank Maldonado reached on a fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners with one out for Caleb Parry.

Parry would send a single up the middle, allowing Kowalczyk to score and cutting the Virginia lead to 9-1, but that would be all the offense the Panthers could muster as Virginia would walk away with the series sweep.

With the loss, Pitt falls to 21-17-0, 8-12-0 in the ACC. After a six-game win streak to enter the game, the Panthers now find themselves in the midst of a three-game losing streak, tying the longest slide of the season.

Pitt will have a short turnaround as the Panthers return to the diamond for a pair of midweek games Tuesday and Wednesday at Charles L. Cost Field, welcoming Maryland Eastern Shore. ACC play will resume the following weekend, as Pitt takes to South Bend, Ind., for a three-game stand with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

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