SPARTANBURG, S.C.—The University of Pittsburgh baseball team had its five-game winning streak snapped Friday evening in a 4-3 defeat to Wofford at Russell C. King Field after seeing a dramatic ninth-inning rally fall just short.
The Panthers (6-2, 0-0 ACC) lost for just the second time this season as the Terriers (3-6, 0-0 SoCon) held on for the win, largely due to a strong pitching performance by their starter Adam Scott, one of the top pitchers in the Southern Conference.
Trailing 4-1 entering the top of the ninth inning, Pitt loaded the bases with two outs. Standing at the plate as the potential go-ahead run, Nick Banman just missed hitting a dramatic home run before he drove a single to right field that brought in Zach Zientarski and Caleb Parry to make it 4-3. With runners on first and third, Manny Pazos lined a ball to right field again in the subsequent at-bat, but Wofford was able to make the catch to end the game.
In the fifth inning, Pazos previously drove in Frank Maldonado, who doubled to open the frame, with a sacrifice fly for Pitt’s initial run.
Wofford scored two runs in the second inning on a two-out single. The Terriers added another in the bottom half of the fifth on a Pitt throwing error with two outs. Wofford completed its scoring in the sixth with a home run over the wall in center by Mack Nathanson, which was the home team’s first extra-base hit and proved to be the difference in the game.
“We played a really solid Wofford team today,” Pitt head coach Joe Jordano said after the game. “They had a strong fundamental game with a really good pitching performance. I’m proud of the way we battled until the end and had a shot to complete the comeback in the ninth. Josh Mitchell and our pitchers did a decent job, but we need to improve on getting ahead in the count.”
“Overall, we needed some better at-bats in the course of the game, especially early,” Jordano added. “Give credit to Wofford; they played well enough to win. Now we need to regroup quickly and get ready for two important games tomorrow afternoon.”
Pitt starting pitcher Josh Mitchell went 4.2 innings, giving up just two earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts; his ERA sits at 1.08 after his third start of the season. RJ Freure and TJ Pagan also pitched well for the Panthers in relief, conceding up just one run with five strikeouts in the final 3.1 innings.
The Panthers will head across Spartanburg tomorrow to play a doubleheader at USC Upstate’s Harley Park. The opening game is set to start at 1 p.m., with the second contest afterwards.
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