With the move to the ACC, the Pitt baseball team is stepping up in competition this season. That's not been more evident than it will be this weekend when they take on the No. 1 ranked Virginia Cavaliers.
The Panthers, as I wrote earlier, were on a bit of a hot streak. They've since cooled, though, dropping midweek games to West Virginia and Youngstown State. The loss to the Mountaineers was the first home loss of the season for the team, who was 8-0 coming into that game.
Virginia is 25-4 on the season and two of their losses have been narrow one-run defeats. Safe to say that winning even one game won't be easy. That's obviously not the goal coming in, but if Pitt wins one game against the Hoos, it will still be considered a bit of an achievement.
A few key stats include Virginia's team batting average of .287 while opponents are hitting only .204 against them. The guy to watch on offense is Mike Papi, who leads the team in ... practically everything, including batting average (.354), home runs (five), RBI (26), total bases (54), walks (30), and slugging percentage (.563). On the mound, Nathan Kirby has been the ace with a 5-1 record and 1.24 ERA.
Pitt faces Virginia on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and all three games will be on ESPN3. Games on Friday and Saturday will start at 3:00 p.m. with Sunday featuring a 1:00 p.m. start.