Pitt had another tough series when it hosted Notre Dame over the weekend at Cost Field. The series was delayed two days because of the weather and it was wrap-around series played from Saturday to Monday.
Pitt managed to win the middle game of the three-game set, and now the Panthers sit with a 13-10 overall record and a 9-9 mark in ACC play. After a scorching start to the season, Mike Bell’s team has cooled off some having lost five of their last six games. Pitt remained in the top 25 this week checking in at No. 17 according to Baseball America.
Pitt will look to get back on track this week with four big games ahead, including an afternoon game today against West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl. The Mountaineers have been a strong program in recent memory and enter today’s game with an 11-11 record. Following the Brawl, Pitt continues its long home stretch with a three-game set against No. 20 Miami over the weekend. The Hurricanes sit just ahead of Pitt in the ACC Coastal standings with a 10-7 record, so it will be a pivotal series for positioning in the conference race. Here is a look back at Pitt’s weekend tilt with Notre Dame.
Notre Dame 4, Pitt 1
Pitt Friday night starter Mitch Myers got the call for game one on Saturday morning and Cost Field, and he did not disappoint. The junior from Alabama went 8 innings scattered five hits, struck out four, and walked only one. He allowed two solo home runs in the fourth inning in an otherwise outstanding performance. Unfortunately for Myers, he was not able to get any run support. The Pitt offense was limited to just five hits, and the Panthers only run came on a wild pitch in the ninth inning. Myers slipped to 2-4 on the season, but his 2.56 ERA ranks 7th in the league currently. He tops the conference in innings pitched with 45.2 and his 48 strikeouts ranks fifth in the league as he continues to prove he is one of the best pitched in the league.
Pitt 3, Notre Dame 2
The story was the same for game two of this set between ranked teams as good pitching was the story yet again. Pitt starter Matt Gilbertson went seven innings, scattered nine hits, allowed one run, and struck out four. Pitt reliever Jordan McCrum earned the win with two strong innings to close out the game. Pitt struck first in this one as left fielder Ron Washington Jr. mashed his third home run of the season, and the 15th of his career to give Pitt a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Notre Dame got one back in the seventh as Ryan Cole plated a run to tie it. Pitt ultimately took the lead for good when senior Nico Popa ripped a two-run homer in the 8th to give Pitt a 3-1 lead. It was Popa’s 6th of the season, and he finished the game with two of Pitt’s four hits. The Irish threatened in the ninth with a run and had the tying run on third, but McCrum was able to work out of the jam to preserve the win.
Notre Dame 11, Pitt 5
After two close games highlighted by pitching, the two offenses exploded a bit on Monday afternoon. Pitt and Notre Dame combined for 25 hits and 16 runs, but the Irish came away with the win. Pitt starter Stepehen Hansen was chased from the game in the fourth inning as he allowed five earned on seven hits. Notre Dame mounted a 10-1 lead through five innings before the Pitt offense started to make some serious noise. Pitt scored four runs in the final four innings, but left seven men on base (15 total for the game), including the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Pitt received multi-hit games from Sky Duff (2-6), Kyle Hess (3-5), Jordan Anderson (2-4), and Brock Franks (2-4). Franks, a junior college transfer shortstop, hit his first home run in a Pitt uniform in the sixth inning.