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Pitt baseball posts another perfect weekend in Florida

The team logged two-game sweeps of Lehigh and Central Connecticut State

The Pitt baseball team spent another weekend in Sanford, Florida, and once again, the team went undefeated. This time, Pitt topped Lehigh and Central Connecticut State in a four-game series that was split between the two teams, and only one of the four matchups saw the Panthers score fewer than 10 runs.

Pitt vs. Lehigh: 15-4 win

Pitt kicked off the weekend with a double-header against Lehigh and Central Connecticut on Friday. The matchup between the Panthers and the Mountain Hawks resulted in a 15-4 rout. Pitt pitcher Chris Cappas was credited with the win after throwing five scoreless innings during which he struck out nine batters, walked three and gave up just one hit.

In addition, the team got offensive production from all over, but its top three producers were Kyle Hess, who led Pitt with three runs batted in; Samuel Frontino, who went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in; and Sky Duff, who went 2-for-3. Duff and Frontino both notched their first home runs of the season in the victory.

Pitt vs. Central Connecticut State: 7-5

The Friday evening matchup with Central Connecticut State was the closest one of the weekend for Pitt, as the team eked out a 7-5 win after coming back from a 5-3 deficit late in the game. Pitt opened up the scoring on a Bryce Hulett home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Central Connecticut State responded with two homers of its own in the next inning to take a 3-2 lead.

The Blue Devils would tack on two more, but in the bottom of the seventh, Ron Washington Jr. would blast a three-run homer to settle the score at 7-5. Panthers relief pitcher Grant Powell was credited with the win after striking out three batters in 2.2 scoreless innings.

Pitt vs. Lehigh: 10-0

Pitt’s most dominant win of the weekend came over Lehigh on Saturday, as the Panthers defeated the Mountain Hawks 10-0. Pitt pitcher Mitch Myers was dominant on the mound, as he threw six scoreless innings, striking out 10 batters and giving up zero walks and just a single hit. Mason Ronan relieved him in the seventh inning and struck three batsmen.

Kyle Hess did the most damage against Lehigh, as he went 3-for-3 and drove in six runs. With a home run, triple and double on the day, Hess came a single shy of hitting for the cycle. The team’s other four runs came on a two-run double by Bryce Hulett, a one-run double by Nick Vera and a wild pitch by Lehigh’s Nick Pave that allowed pinch-hitter Grant Santangelo to score. The teams agreed to end the game after the seventh inning.

Pitt vs. Central Connecticut State: 14-2

The weekend finale came on Sunday, when Pitt faced Central Connecticut State just after noon, and while the two teams had a back-and-forth battle the first time around, the rematch saw Pitt earn its widest margin of victory of the four-game series, as the team won 14-2.

The Panthers got another dominant pitching performance out of Matt Gilbertson, who went for five innings and gave up three hits, four walks and zero runs and struck out seven batters. Pitt relief pitcher Adam Bloebaum gave up two runs, but C.J. McKennitt and Chase Smith closed out the game without allowing any additional runners to score.

Pitt’s offensive production came primarily from the top of its lineup, with leadoff hitter Sky Duff plating two runs on a double and a walk, cleanup hitter Ron Washington Jr. driving in three more on a late double, and Nico Popa and Kyle Hess batting in three runs apiece in between. Riley Wash also hit his second home run of the year, driving in two runs, and the Panthers’ scored another run on an error by the Blue Devils.

With four more wins in the books, Pitt’s record sits at 10-1 on the season. That represents the program’s best start through 11 games since 2002, when the Panthers got off to a 10-0-1 start. Pitt will try to build on its momentum on Tuesday, when it hosts Youngstown State in its home opener at Charles L. Cost Field.

The Panthers dropped two of three games to the Penguins in 2019 and will look to reassert their dominance over their regional rivals this time around. They hold a 36-9-1 record against Youngstown State in 46 total games.