The University of Pittsburgh baseball team sputtered through their worst weekend of the season so far, losing all three games in their bout in the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, North Carolina. The following are recaps of the three losses:
FRIDAY 2/28 vs OHIO STATE: L 6-2
The Panthers couldn't take advantage of having their ace Matt Wotherspoon on the mound, as the senior pitcher suffered his first loss of the season, surrendering five runs– only three of them earned – in seven innings of work. Pitt simply could not hit the Buckeyes' starter Greg Greve, who threw six inning of one-hit, shutout ball, striking out nine. All-American outfielder Casey Roche and third baseman Jordan Frabasillo were two of the few highlights Friday, with each going 2-4 on the afternoon.
SATURDAY 3/1 vs EAST CAROLINA: L 4-2
The loss by the Panthers on Saturday dropped their record to .500 for the first time since May 24, 2012, as Pitt continued to struggle offensively. Joe Harvey, who served as the team's closer in last year's strong campaign, made his debut as a starting pitcher, giving up three earned runs and seven hits in four and two-thirds innings pitched. However, Pittsburgh's bats once again went silent, totaling just two hits on the afternoon, with their two runs coming on a throwing error and a passed ball.
SUNDAY 3/2 vs WESTERN KENTUCKY L 3-2 (11)
The Panthers couldn't come out on the winning side in the team's first extra-inning contest of the year, losing on a walk-off RBI single by Western Kentucky's Ty Downing. Pitt received a dynamite performance from Australian senior starting pitcher Rhys Aldenhoven, who threw seven innings of five-hit baseball, allowing only two runs (only one being earned). Stephen Vranka paced Pitt offensively, going 2-4, including an RBI single that tied the game up at two in the seventh.
These games are precursors to the Panthers' inaugural Atlantic Coastal Conference game, as they take on the No. 22 North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday at 3 pm, with the game being streamed on ESPN3.