CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A hot Virginia offense proved too much for the University of Pittsburgh baseball team Friday night, as Pitt fell to the 22nd-ranked Cavaliers by a score of 12-1 at Davenport Field in Charlottesville, Va.
"That was a tough game tonight," said head coach Joe Jordano. "We obviously struggled on the mound, defensively and at the plate. UVA is the best offensive team we have faced so far and we pitched behind in most at bats and that hurt us, as did four errors and six walks. Equally tough was our approach at the plate. We simply are not being aggressive enough. Again, UVA has always been among the best in the country on the mound and they throw three pitches for strikes. We didn't make the necessary adjustments. As I mentioned last week, we need to flush it and come out tomorrow and stay focused on the things we can control and do our best to even the series."
The Cavaliers took an early lead in the first as a solo homer into right gave the home team the 1-0 advantage. A walk issued to Adam Haseley would make way for the centerfielder to steal second before being brought home on a single up the middle by Pavin Smith. A pair of pop outs would end the inning as Virginia took a 2-0 lead.
Pitt got one back in the second as a bloop single into right off the bat of Frank Maldonado got things going. Caleb Parry would send a double into the left field corner, scoring Maldonado and cutting the Cavaliers lead to 2-1.
Virginia broke things open in the third, scoring three of a pair of homers to extend its lead to 5-1. Sam Mersing would come on with the bases loaded and two outs, getting out of the jam before tossing an efficient fourth inning, allowing just one hit but stranding the runner.
A one-out single off the bat of Alex Amos put a man on for the Panthers in the fifth as the freshman moved into scoring position after a groundout by Nico Popa. Amos, however, was stranded as Virginia remained on top 5-1.
Chris Gomez would enter the game in relief of Mersing in the fifth, as the freshman hit a man with one out, before retiring the third batter he faced for the second out of the frame. A single put two men on before an error by Jacob Wright scored one. A walk would load the bases and a three-run double by Pavin Smith gave Virginia a 9-1 lead.
Taking over on the hill for Gomez with two outs and a man on second was TJ Pagan, who would issue a walk to his first opponent but got Corey Cody to chase to end the inning as Virginia claimed a 9-1 advantage through five.
The Pitt offense was stifled in the sixth as Adam Cornwell took over on the hill and tossed an effective bottom of the inning, striking out the leadoff man before a groundout would get the second of the inning. A single found its way into left but Cornwell would strand the runner as Ernie Clement grounded out to Nick Banman to end the frame.
In the seventh, the Cavaliers added two more, extending their lead to 11-1. In the eighth, another Virginia run would come across as the Cavaliers took a 12-1 lead.
With the loss, Pitt falls to 14-13, 6-7 ACC. Starter Matt Pidich drops to 3-3 on the year.
Pitt and the Cavaliers will return to action tomorrow in game two of the weekend series with first pitch set for 4 p.m. Leftie Josh Mitchell will take the hill for the Panthers and face off with Virginia righty Noah Murdock.
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