Feb. 21, 2013
PITTSBURGH - Following a season-opening series sweep over Wichita State last weekend, the University of Pittsburgh baseball team will travel to Spartanburg, S.C. for a three-game set against Wofford on Feb. 22-24 at Russell C. King Field. Fans can follow the online video stream of the series through Terrier Vision for a fee.
Pitt enters the weekend with a 3-0 record for the first time since 2002. The Panthers delivered Wichita State its first series sweep at home in 43 seasons with an outstanding output of offense, outscoring the Shockers 27-15 and batting .375 as a team. Pitt’s 45 hits against the Shockers were the most they’ve recorded in a three-game series sweep since tallying 56 against West Virginia in Morgantown, W. Va. on April 23-25, 2010.
Pitt, 5-3 all-time against Wofford (3-1), took two out of three games against the Terriers last season tallying 38 hits and outscoring them by 13 runs. The most recent series between the two programs featured 22-12 and 8-4 wins in favor of the Panthers with Wofford taking the second game of the series, 8-7.
Though the series against Wichita State accounted for a total team effort, individual performances at the plate highlighted the Panthers’ effort in the opening week of the 2013 regular season. Pitt heads into the weekend series against the Terriers carrying eight players currently holding hitting streaks of three or more games in addition to having six batters with at least 10 at-bats boasting .300-plus averages and three or more RBI.
Heading the Panthers’ offense is junior right fielder Casey Roche (JR, Downingtown, Pa.), who batted .571 (8-14) with two home runs, seven RBI and seven runs scored to earn the honors of the season’s first Big East Player of the Week. Roche, a .341 hitter in three seasons with Pitt, boasts a .538 batting average with three runs and seven RBI against Wofford in his career.
Newcomers to the Panthers’ starting lineup such as sophomore Eric Hess
(SO, Erie, Pa.) and redshirt freshman A.J. Lardo
(FR, Baltimore, Md.) have also gotten off to hot starts this season. Hess is batting .455 with one home run and five RBI and Lardo holds the team’s second-best average (.462) with two runs scored and three RBI.
Pitt will turn to junior Ethan Mildren (JR, Hopwood, Pa.) (0-0, 2.57 ERA) on the mound in the first game of the series to face the Terriers’ Brandon Yarusi (0-0, 1.50 ERA). Mildren struck out nine batters in a seven-inning performance last weekend allowing just two earned runs on five hits.
Matt Wotherspoon (JR, Mountain Top, Pa.) (1-0, 7.36 ERA), who struck out eight in seven innings of work against Wofford last season, will get the nod in the second game of the series with junior Rhys Aldenhoven (JR, Victoria, Australia) (1-0, 1.42 ERA) set to round out the weekend for the Panthers.
GAME 1: FRIDAY, FEB. 22, 4 p.m. EST
PITT: RHP Ethan Mildren (0-0, 2.57 ERA)
WOFFORD: RHP Brandon Yarusi (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
GAME 2: SATURDAY, FEB. 23, 2 p.m. EST
PITT: RHP Matt Wotherspoon (1-0, 7.36 ERA)
WOFFORD: RHP Jesse Morris (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
GAME 3: SUNDAY, FEB. 24, 1 p.m. EST
PITT: RHP Rhys Aldenhoven (1-0, 1.42 ERA)