After shocking No. 11 North Carolina over the weekend, the Pitt baseball team’s latest momentum was halted with a 9-4 loss to West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl at PNC Park.
The Panthers (20-32) had won three of their last four games entering the matchup but were soundly beaten by the Mountaineers (32-18) on Tuesday.
Pitt actually struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the second on a solo home run by Nico Popa. Hitting .351 on the season with an OPS of 1.006 (both of which easily lead the team), Popa has been an absolute terror this season. However, West Virginia rebounded with three runs of their own in the top of the third and never relinquished the lead. The Mountaineers actually piled on, scoring six runs total in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, to take a commanding 9-1 lead. Pitt scored three runs in the eighth on a three-run homer by Cole MacLaren but it wasn’t nearly enough.
The Panthers’ pitching struggled throughout the game. Starter Chris Cappas was chased after giving up three runs in only four innings and while others pitched well in relief, Brady Devereux, gave up four earned runs in only 1 1⁄3 innings. Chris Gomez gave up two runs that were unearned to account for the rest of the scoring.
As mentioned, the game was at PNC Park and was something hyped up quite a bit ever since it was announced. Unfortunately, it had a disappointing end for the Panthers. Still, it’s a great idea and hopefully Pitt can continue to play some games there.
Next up is a weekend series at Georgia Tech as Pitt closes up the regular season.