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Pitt baseball team on slide after sweep to North Carolina State

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

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, the Pitt baseball team still had a good chance to make some noise in the ACC standings. But the team has really faltered since then and now sits at 22-27 on the year.

After taking four out of five in non-conference games against SIUE and Maryland Eastern Shore, the team was promptly swept on the road at Georgia Tech. The games were close as Pitt lost by only a combined five runs (including two one-run losses) but a sweep is still a sweep no matter how you look at it.

Then, after managing an extra-inning win over Youngstown State in the middle of the week last week, the Panthers were swept again in ACC competition, dropping three games to North Carolina State this weekend. Those games weren't as close and the series culminated in a 14-6 beatdown.

Things have really taken a nosedive for Pitt, not only lately, but dating back to the beginning of April. Pitt had just taken consecutive series' from Duke and Virginia Tech and looked like they could make some progress in the conference this year. In the five series' since then, however, they've won only two of 15 games. Now, at 8-19 in the conference, they are last in the Coastal Division and tied for last in the entire ACC.

Admittedly, this was supposed to be a down year for the Panthers. But when you haven't yet had a winning season in the ACC (in conference or overall), the losing starts to grow old. Assuming he is back next season, that should be a big one in terms of evaluating head coach Joe Jordano. The ACC is difficult to compete in, there's no doubt about it. But as I wrote at the beginning of the season, at some point the program needs to take a real step forward. They sort of did that last season, finishing a game under .500 overall. However, if they're unable to make any real progress next year, that will make five losing seasons in a row. And if the idea is to be competitive across the board in all sports, that's just not good enough.

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