Feb. 8, 2013
PITTSBURGH - During a recent off-day the Pitt Baseball team traded in its gloves and bats for a different kind of team activity, a trip to a nearby paintball park.
"Coach Oakes had talked about it and then we just ran with it," said head coach Joe Jordano. "We mentioned it to the guys and they thought it would be a great idea so we pursued it, set it up, and had a blast."
On a large outdoor hillside complex overlooking Homestead, the Panthers split up into teams and competed in a variety of contests on multiple courses throughout the brisk winter day.
"It was a cold day, there was snow, there was mud and it was an absolute blast," Jordano exclaimed. "We played for almost four hours and I tell you to a man, including the staff, we had a ton of fun. It was really well worth it."
Jordano feels events such as paintball serve a purpose other than just a fun activity on an off-day prior to the season.
"I feel like when you do something together as a team, outside of what you traditionally do on the diamond, it makes your bond and camaraderie even stronger," Jordano said. "It was a great experience for us and we're looking forward to potentially doing it again in the future."
The Panthers open their 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15, when they travel to Wichita, Kan., to face Wichita State in a three-game series.
The Panthers, who begin their third season at the state-of-the-art Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex this spring, are one of three teams to advance to the past four Big East Championships. Since 2000, Pitt has been one of the premier programs in the Northeast winning over 400 games and producing 12 All-Americans, 50 All-Big East honorees and seeing 51 players sign professional contracts.