ATLANTA – Despite a late offensive push, the University of Pittsburgh baseball team fell to Georgia Tech in the series finale of the three-game series Monday night at Russ Chandlers Stadium in Atlanta by a score of 5-2.
The Panthers’ eighth inning looked to provide some momentum to the offense as Pitt got a run and had runners on the corners with the two-out rally in full swing. Pitt, however, couldn’t push any more men across as the Yellow Jackets secured the series sweep with the 5-2 victory.
“We did not get the job done today, or for the series for that matter,” said head coach Joe Jordano. “We had streaks of playing very well and had legitimate opportunities to win the series, but could not convert. We pitched fairly well but did not play the way we have been playing defensively. We gave Georgia Tech too many opportunities and they did a very good job at the plate, on the mound and defensively. We have to get back into a good spot mid-week against Youngstown State prior to even thinking about the weekend. It’s back to work tomorrow.”
Georgia Tech got out on Pitt starter Josh Falk early, scoring two in the opening frame to grab a 2-0 advantage. A single and double would put a pair on before a ground out allowed the first runner to come across. A wild pitch by Falk scored the second Georgia Tech runner in the inning as the Jackets went up 2-0 through one.
The Yellow Jackets added another in the second as a double and sacrifice bunt would put Austin Wilhite at third with just one out. A throwing error on Alex Amos allowed Wilhite to score as Georgia Tech went up 3-0.
In the fourth, Frank Maldonado continued his offensive tear, ripping an RBI single down the left field line to cut the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 3-1. After Jacob Wright drew a leadoff walk, a single by Amos put runners on the corners for Maldonado’s seventh hit of the series.
Georgia Tech got the run back in the bottom of the frame, as a leadoff triple and a one-out single moved the score to 4-1 in favor of the home team.
Things quieted over the next three frames as the Yellow Jackets continued to hold a 4-1 advantage until the Panthers got some momentum going in the eighth. Nick Banman would send a leadoff single into left, chasing the Georgia Tech starter. After a pair of quick outs, the Panther offense got things going, as a wild pitch moved Banman into scoring position, and a single by Wright put men on the corners. Caleb Parry would single into right to score Banman as Pitt cut the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 4-2.
The Yellow Jackets got the run back in the bottom of the frame as a single and an error put a man on second, moving him to third on a sacrifice bunt. A single up the middle scored Georgia Tech’s fifth of the game and gave the home team a 5-2 lead they would not surrender.
With the defeat, Pitt falls to 21-24 (8-16 ACC). Falk earned the loss, falling to 3-6 on the season. Offensively, Parry went 2-4 with one RBI to pace the team, while Maldonado added a 1-3 outing with an RBI.
The Panthers return to action on Wednesday at 6 p.m., hosting Youngstown State in a mid-week contest. Pitt will close out home ACC action over the weekend as NC State visits Charles L. Cost Field for three games.
NOTES: Frank Maldonado committed a fielding error against the second batter of the fifth inning, just the second error of his career … the miscue snaps a streak of 110 errorless games for the outfielder … Maldonado’s only other error came on March 27, 2015 against NC State as a redshirt freshman.
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