Last season, Pitt's baseball team was the one sweeping others. This weekend, though, they were swept by Virginia Tech in their second ACC series. As has been the case quite a bit this year, pitching was an issue. Pitt grabbed a couple of midweek wins against Presbyterian, but took several steps back against the Hokies.
The Panthers started with an 11-5 loss on Friday and starter Rhys Aldenhoven was roughed up for five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Even reliever Hobie Harris, who has been incredibly steady this year, wasn't immune, giving up three runs and three walks in 1 2/3 innings.
In Game 2, Pitt gave up a great chance to win a game. Unfortunately, the bullpen again failed the team. Starter Joseph Harvey did his job with two runs in four innings and Pitt appeared to be on their way to a comfortable victory with a 10-2 lead in the fifth inning. But the bullpen was tagged with seven runs and six walks the rest of the way, and Pitt lost 11-10 on a run in the bottom of the ninth.
The Panthers' pitchers also got hit around in the finale. I recently wrote about the struggles of staff ace, Matt Wotherspoon. He had another rough outing in this one, giving up a whopping nine earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work. That included seven in the third inning and you almost wonder if he was kept out there to give the taxed bullpen a rest.
Offensively, Pitt got two home runs from Boo Vazquez and six hits each from he and Stephen Vranka. Scoring 22 runs, you'd like to think the Panthers could have gotten at least one game.
After a huge season last year, I'm not here to tell everyone to get off the baseball bandwagon if you happened to jump on last year. But it's clear that this team is in a lot of trouble. Pitt is getting a decent amount of offense with about six runs a game, but simply a huge drop off in terms of starting pitching. The Panthers just have a lot to work on right now. They're 7-10 and that schedule is only getting more difficult.