LOUISVILLE, KY -- Another ninth inning offensive rush came up short for the University of Pittsburgh baseball team as the Panthers fell to fourth-ranked Louisville in the series finale of the ACC's opening weekend.
In the lowest scoring game of the weekend, the Panthers we bested by the undefeated Cardinals by a score of 3-1 at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville, falling victim to a Louisville sweep.
"It was a very challenging weekend for us," said head coach Joe Jordano. "Runs for us are at a premium right now and we did not convert on any of our opportunities early, especially today. Louisville is the number four team in the country for a reason. They can pitch, play defense and get timely hits. I believe we matched them on the mound and defensively, but we could not generate nearly enough offense. We will get it going. We have no choice."
Pitt starter Josh Falk was solid in his first ACC performance of the season, tossing 5.2 innings of work. He'd work around a leadoff single in the first inning before throwing back-to-back three-up, three-down frames.
Louisville would get a run in the fourth after a walk to Devin Mann, a single to right by Brendan McKay and a sacrifice bunt put runners on first and second. Colin Lyman would draw a walk to load the bases before a fielder's choice RBI by Devin Hariston gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
Falk would return to the hill and retire the side in order in the fifth but got into a bit of trouble in the sixth, loading the bases off a single to McKay and walks to Lyman and Hairston. The Panthers called upon freshman RJ Freure in the bullpen, who allowed a single up the middle to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.
Freure would get out of the inning and return to the mound to throw clean seventh and eighth inning, making way for the Panther offense to attempt a comeback in the ninth.
Pinch hitter Jacob Wright would draw a walk to lead off the inning, moving to second on a ground out by Frank Maldonado. With two outs, Kaylor Kulina was hit, putting men on first and second. Nick Banman sent a single into right, scoring Wright to cut the lead to 3-1. Louisville called upon the bullpen for the final out, as Alex Griffith struck out swinging to end the game.
With the loss the Panthers fall to 7-7, 0-3 ACC. Pitt will return to action for a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday, hosting St. Peter's at Charles L. Cost Field for the home opener. ACC play will resume the following weekend as Notre Dame visits Cost Field.
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