Pitt baseball loses, has tough road to Big East final
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Two errors led to three unearned runs, and the Pitt baseball team stumbled to a 5-3 loss to seventh-seeded Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament, forcing the Panthers to take a tougher path through the bracket.
“Unfortunately for us, we made some defensive mistakes, which is uncharacteristic of the way we play,” coach Joe Jordano said. “At this time of year, in these type of games against great competition, you have to make routine plays.”
The third-seeded Panthers (41-16) outhit the Fighting Irish (33-23), 9-8, but couldn't get the same clutch hitting they had in Wednesday's opening win over St. John's. A win Thursday would have sent them to Saturday's semifinals, but instead, they play second-seeded Seton Hall in an elimination game Friday. A win there and Pitt would need to beat Notre Dame twice Saturday to reach Sunday's title game.
A quick exit could put Pitt's chances for an at-large bid to NCAA regionals in jeopardy.
“To start thinking about things that we have no control over just adds to the mental clutter we can't have right now,” Jordano said. “We have to keep it fresh and clear their minds, get a good night's sleep and try to come back and play good baseball tomorrow.”
Pitt's troubles started in the second inning, when third baseman Sam Parente had a throwing error with two outs, allowing Notre Dame's first run. Frank DeSico followed with a single for a 2-0 lead.
Pitt starter Matt Wotherspoon loaded the bases in the fourth on two hit batters and a bunt. An error by shortstop by Evan Oswald made it 3-0, and a fourth run scored on a bases-loaded double play.
“It's a tough loss for all of us, a real tight game,” said Wotherspoon, who pitched into the eighth inning. “The focus now is forgetting and moving on to tomorrow.”
Jordano will start junior right-hander Rhys Aldenhoven (8-0, 2.12 ERA) in Friday's game. Seton Hall will start right-hander Josh Prevost (5-2, 3.04 ERA).
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.
- Pitt hoops picked 6th in ACC preseason poll
- Young Pitt secondary has no fear; will be tested against Duke
- Clairton grad Gombar recalls Duke-Pitt games from mid-70s
- Academic scandal saddens UNC coach Williams
- 3 Pitt football recruits plan to enroll early
- Former Pitt player praises latest recruit
- Script is it: Classic Pitt helmet design to return
- Patience pays off for Duke as Cutcliffe turns program around
- Pitt, Chryst pondering next move as stellar Duke defense awaits
- Pitt notebook: RB Ibrahim makes most of opportunity
- Georgia Tech runs all over mistake-prone Pitt