Pitt baseball offense disappears in South Florida series

Justin Sullivan

For the first time this season, Pitt's bats fell silent in a three-game series, when they were kept down by South Florida this past weekend.

Pitt's offense has been among the best in the nation so far this year. The Panthers, though, could do little against the Bulls in three games. During the series, Pitt scored only a total of eight runs. The Panthers had scored more than eight runs per game coming into the weekend.

The Panthers were shut out for only the second time this season in the opener. While they rebounded to score six times on Saturday, they were held to only two runs in the finale on Sunday. There were a couple of highlights - outfielder Stephen Shelinsky hit another home run and outfielder Stephen Vranka went 5-13, hitting nearly .400 in the series. But it wasn't nearly enough, obviously.

Even worse was that Pitt wasted three strong efforts from the starters. Ethan Mildren gave up only one run (and it was unearned) in a complete game on Friday. Matt Wotherspoon went six strong innings, giving up only two runs on Saturday. And on Sunday, Rhys Aldenhoven struck out nine and gave up only one run in seven innings.

If you'd have told me the starters would be that good, I'd have figured the Panthers would have a good chance at not only winning the series, but grabbing another sweep. Still, the bats have been so good this year, it's hard to complain.

Pitt returns this weekend for three big games against Notre Dame as part of a 12-game home stand.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics.

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