Pitt wins Big East Tournament opener, faces Notre Dame on Thursday
CLEARWATER, Fla. — In mere minutes, sunny Florida skies turned into heavy morning rains, and after a 71-minute delay, Pitt baseball coach Joe Jordano didn't know how his team would follow up on a 4-2 lead against St. John's in the Big East Tournament opener.
The third-seeded Panthers bounced back — not only from the delay, but also from a four-game losing streak — and pulled away to an easy 10-2 win against the sixth-seeded Red Storm. Pitt got strong pitching before and after the break from right-hander Ethan Mildren.
“It's so hot out here it's easy to stay loose,” said Mildren, who didn't allow a hit in four scoreless innings after the rain. “I felt good through the delay. You have to stay locked in and not give in. You never know if you're going back out or not, so you have to be prepared to go back out there.”
Pitt (41-15) advances to play Notre Dame, a 5-0 winner against Seton Hall.
The Pitt-Notre Dame winner earns a day off and advances to Saturday's semifinals.
Pitt had scored at least 11 runs in each game of a three-game sweep against St. John's (23-34), and immediately after the delay Wednesday, the Panthers scored three runs in the fifth, two on a triple by shortstop Evan Oswald.
Mildren, a Laurel Highlands graduate, had thrown 75 pitches when the game was suspended in the fifth, and Jordan wasn't sure how much he'd get from the first-team All-Big East pitcher. Mildren needed only 34 pitches for the next 12 outs, holding the Red Storm to four total hits in his eight innings.
“Huge,” Jordano said. “My pitching coach and I were talking when those huge raindrops were coming down.”
Greg Auman is a freelance writer.
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.