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Ups and downs keep Pitt baseball out of the polls

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Photo used with permission of the University of Pittsburgh athletics department - www.pittsburghpanthers.com

Pitt's baseball team has had its ups and downs this season. Because of that, despite some strong wins, the Panthers remain unranked as the season continues.

The team got off to a 6-1 start and despite a rough patch of five consecutive losses, started turning things around. First, the Panthers defeated a ranked North Carolina game in a series finale. Then came wins against ranked Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia Tech teams. Pitt also added a series win against Boston College, taking two out of three games, and entering last week, moved all the way up to No. 23 in the RPI rankings.

That put the Panthers in good position to get into the Top 25 polls, but despite winning two out of three against Virginia Tech this weekend, Pitt dropped a contest to the Hokies and that loss to a 12-25 team helped drop them all the way from No. 23 to No. 40 in this week's RPI - the second largest drop by any Top 50 squad.

Pitt has several big wins this year, but some tough losses have kept them from reaching the next level and getting into the rankings. In addition to the Virginia Tech loss over the weekend, the Panthers were swept by New Orleans earlier in the year, were shut out by Penn State (a team that just barely cracks the top 100 in RPI), and lost to Ohio State (#115 in RPI). More understandable, the team was able to only take one game each against North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Clemson. Winning even one game against those programs isn't bad. But Pitt would be in better position by taking a few more of the winnable contests.

There's still plenty of season left and Pitt will have plenty of opportunities to fight its way into consideration for the NCAA Tournament. But the Panthers will need to take advantage of the weaker teams remaining on the schedule to avoid taking massive hits to their RPI as was the case this week.

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