LOUISVILLE, KY — Despite a late offensive surge, the University of Pittsburgh baseball team was unable to make up for an early deficit, as the fourth-ranked Louisville Cardinals captured an 8-2 win over the Panthers in the second game of the series at Jim Patterson Stadium Saturday afternoon.
"Today was a tough game that didn’t go our way,” said head coach Joe Jordano. “Matt (Pidich) struggled a little bit with his command, especially with his off-speed pitches, which is critical to his game. The bullpen did a solid job and we had several opportunities to score.”
Louisville came out hot from the start, as a leadoff walk and back-to-back stolen bases for Logan Taylor put the centerfielder in scoring position with one out. A single off the bat of Devin Mann would bring Taylor home as the Cardinals went up 1-0 early.
The Cardinals would add two in both the second and third frames, jumping out to a 5-0 lead through the first third of the outing. In the second, a pair of two-out singles from Josh Stowers and Tyler Fitzgerald kept things alive and put runners on the corners for a double down the left field line for Taylor. In the third, singles from Drew Ellis and Colin Lyman gave way for a double off the top of the left field wall by Devin Hairston.
In the sixth, the Cardinals would take a 6-0 lead, as a walk and a single put a pair on before Taylor would ground into a double play to plate a runner. A two-run home run in the eighth off the bat of Colby Fitch made it 8-0 in favor of the nation’s fourth-ranked team.
The Panthers offense gained some momentum in the ninth, scoring their first two runs of the series in the final frame. Yaya Chentouf, who came in to pitch in the ninth and took over the designated hitter spot in the lineup, drew a leadoff walk, moving to second on a single through the hole from Manny Pazos. A sacrifice fly into right field from Alex Amos scored Chentouf as the Panthers cut the Louisville lead to 8-1. The next batter, Nico Popa, would send a single up the middle to score Pazos as Pitt moved the Louisville lead to 8-2.
The runs, however, would be the only of the inning for the Panthers as the fourth-ranked Cardinals claimed an 8-2 win and control of the series. With the loss, Pitt falls to 7-6, 0-2 ACC while Louisville remains undefeated, moving to 14-0, 2-0 ACC.
“We left nine baserunners on and did not get a run until the ninth,” Jordano added. “As I said to the team after the game, this is a challenge that we must accept and continue to work and get better each day. Back at it tomorrow.”
The series will come to a close on Sunday with first pitch set for 1 p.m. from Jim Patterson Stadium.
NOTES: Alex Amos led the offense, going 2-2 with an RBI … Kaylor Kulina also had a two-hit performance (2-3) … with the loss, Matt Pidich falls to 2-1 on the season … Caleb Parry extended his reached base streak to 14 games with a walk … Louisville now holds a 16-8-0 all-time record over the Panthers.
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