Pitt took part in the All-American Classic in Fayetteville, North Carolina, over the weekend, taking on Army, Ohio State snd Campbell between Friday snd Sunday. After a late-inning loss in the first game of the weekend, Pitt bounced back in a great way to win the final two games and go 2-1 on the last weekend before the start of conference play.
Matt Gilbertson exited Friday’s matchup with Army with a 3-2 lead after scattering seven hits over six and two-thirds innings. Pitt’s runs came on a solo home run in the second inning by Tatem Levins, a Jack Anderson flyout in the fourth inning and a Kyle Hess walk in the fifth.
With a one-run lead in the late innings, Pitt coach Mike Bell turned to one of his most reliable relievers in Baron Stuart, who stranded the tying run on second in the seventh inning. Stuart’s good fortune came to an end in the eighth, though, as the Black Knights plated three runs to take a 5-3 lead. That would be enough to seal the deal in Game 1.
After Friday’s late-inning loss, Saturday’s matchup with Ohio State had the potential to serve as a something of a turning point. Brock Franks and Tatem Levins provided the firepower early, plating runs with a double and a home run, respectively. But Pitt still trailed late into the afternoon. Logan Evans would exit the game in the sixth inning, with the Panthers down 5-4, and Hayden Summers would take over. After Sky Duff scored Tommy Tavarez with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, Pitt and Ohio State would find themselves tied. Franks would break that tie, walking the game off with his third home run in the past two weeks and securing a 6-5 win.
The momentum built in Saturday’s win carried over into Sunday, as Pitt plated 10 runs in the first four innings and coasted to an 11-5 victory over Campbell. The top seven hitters in Pitt’s lineup all had multiple hits, with both Sky Duff and Tatem Levins having three hits. On the mound, Billy Corcoran continued to impress, as he slid into the Sunday role this weekend.
Pitt’s bullpen was highly effective on Saturday and Sunday against potent offenses. And as the Panthers start conference play next week, Mike Bell will need the bullpen to continue to get the job done in high-leverage innings against even stronger offenses.
Pitt will remain in the Tar Heel State this week, as it will face High Point on Wednesday night and then move onto Chapel Hill for a weekend series against North Carolina. Game times and streaming options are below.
Wednesday, 3/9: at High Point, 6 p.m. on ESPN+
Friday, 3/11: at North Carolina, 6 p.m. on ACCNX
Saturday, 3/12: at North Carolina, 2 p.m. on ACCNX
Sunday, 3/13: at North Carolina, 1 p.m. on ACCNX