PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Panthers (13-13, 5-8 ACC) dropped the opening game of a three game series against Georgia Tech (23-7, 7-6 ACC) by a final score of 6-3 on a cold Friday afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field.
"Well we needed to have a little bit better of an approach at the plate," head coach Joe Jordano said following the game.
"We let some pitches go by that were drivable. We need to be a little bit more aggressive early in the count and take advantage of those pitches. Over the past couple of weeks, we've been very focused on being aggressive early in the count, and identifying the pitches that we want. We didn't do that today."
After holding the potent Yellow Jackets offense in check in the opening frame, Pitt starter, Aaron Sandefur struggled in the second, allowing four runs, two unearned, in the frame.
Georgia Tech added a run in the fifth and seventh innings. In the fifth, Matt Gonzalez led off with a double. He later scored when Tristin English singled through the left hand side. In the seventh, Gonzalez sent a 0-2 pitch over the right center field wall.
After holding the Panthers in check for the first six innings, starter Brandon Gold struggled a bit in the seventh, allowing a two-run home run to Ron Sherman, after walking Alex Kowalczyk. For Sherman, it was his sixth homerun of the season, tying him for second on the team with senior Nick Yarnell.
"With Ron, it's one of those things where it's an offense versus defense type thing. We're going to have to get his bat in the lineup. He has good power, and always has a good approach at the plate. He always does a good job for us. We have to examine our lineup, to generate some more offense", the skipper said.
In the eighth, the Panthers added a run when Alex Kowalczyk scored from first on a two-out double by David Yanni. The inning continued when Frank Maldonado walked, bringing up freshman Yaya Chentouf, as the tying run.
The walk chased Georgia Tech reliever Micah Carpenter, who was replaced by Georgia Tech's closer Matthew Gorst. Gorst, who came in with runners on the corners, ran the count to 2-2, but struck out Chentouf on a slider to end the inning and the Panthers threat.
Gorst stayed on the mound for the final inning, and retired the Panthers erasing a lead-off single on a double play, picking up his eighth save of the season in the process.
Game two tomorrow afternoon has been cancelled due to inclement weather. The series will conclude Sunday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 12:00 P.M. from Charles L. Cost Field.
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