Ford City grad Dylan Wolsonovich aids in Pitt's resurgence
Pitt's baseball team is reaching new heights this season, and Ford City grad Dylan Wolsonovich has been an integral part of that success.
Wolsonovich has established himself as the team's starting second baseman in his redshirt freshman season, and in his first year on the diamond, the 17th-ranked Panthers already have amassed their highest win total in program history.
As Pitt reached 40 wins in a season for the first time with a three-game sweep of Villanova over the weekend, Wolsonovich was in the center of the action. His walkoff single won the first game of the series in a Saturday doubleheader, 4-3, and he hit a three-run triple to help Pitt (40-11, 18-3) win the second game, 12-4.
“We worked our butts off to prepare for this season, and we're going to see where it takes us,” Wolsonovich said. “It's been a great season so far, and we want to see how far we can go.”
Wolsonovich has had a solid year at the plate with a .291 average, 33 runs scored and 21 RBI for the Panthers. He also has a .383 on-base percentage this season, which give Pitt a potent run-scoring weapon at the No. 9 spot in the lineup.
While sitting out for a redshirt year isn't always a move players embrace when they reach college, Wolsonovich attributes much of his personal success to the work he put in and the things he learned during his year on the bench.
“I really worked a lot harder during the offseason. I didn't come in (as a true freshman) prepared like I wanted to or like I should have,” Wolsonovich said. “I knew what I had to do coming into this season, so I trained harder, practiced a lot more and refined a lot of things to try and start and help our team win games. I didn't mind the redshirt at all because it really helped me, and I still had four more years to play.”
His work leading up to this season was recognized by longtime Pitt coach Joe Jordano, who picked up his 750th career win Sunday when the Panthers topped Villanova, 10-2.
“Dylan worked really hard to get where he is. He came in with a great attitude, he made some adjustments, and overall, he did what he had to do to earn the position,” Jordano said. “When you hit lower in the lineup, the tendency is to get more fastballs. He's done a real good job waiting for his pitch, and when he gets it, he hits it hard.”
Defensively, Wolsonovich has had the benefit of partnering with rangy senior shortstop Evan Oswald as he settled into an everyday role. Wolsonovich has been a part of 23 double plays in the middle of the infield this season and has committed 10 errors.
“That's a combination that evolves, and as the season has progressed, those two have done a really nice job together,” Jordano said. “Evan has been rock solid at shortstop, and that stability has helped Dylan be solid at second base.”
But as good of a first year as Wolsonovich has had on the field, he and his teammates have much greater achievements in mind.
The buzzword around the Panthers' dugout has nothing to do with a win total, or even a Big East championship, something the first-place Panthers haven't won since 1995. The word they're using is Omaha (Neb.), the site of the College World Series, an event Pitt has never reached.
“At the beginning of the year, we didn't say we wanted to win 40 games or win the Big East. We want to go to Omaha. We want to go the whole way,” Wolsonovich said. “On the way, we want to win the Big East and do those other things, but Omaha is our goal. We've been working hard and winning games, and we have to keep that up.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Pederson had to go at Pitt
- Pederson’s 2nd tenure as the athletic director at Pitt comes to abrupt end
- Chryst returns home, named football coach at Wisconsin
- Many Pitt fans endorse move to oust Pederson as athletic director
- Pitt uses 2 2nd-half flurries to hold off Manhattan, 65-56
- Rossi: It’s OK if Pitt coaches don’t stay
- If Chryst leaves Pitt, list of potential replacements is varied
- Pitt recruit: Chryst seeking changes, could stay
- Analysis: Stay or leave, Pitt football coach Chryst did his job
- Pitt AD: There is a ‘chance’ football coach will stay
- Pitt basketball’s fortunes turn on defense