March 28, 2013
PITTSBURGH - Coming off a sweep of defending Big East Champ St. John's and a midweek win at Penn State, the 30th-ranked University of Pittsburgh baseball team (16-6) host Towson (13-10) in a three game set at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30.
The teams will play a double-header on Friday beginning at 1 p.m. and will wrap up the series on Saturday with another 1 p.m. start.
Pitt has been ranked 30th in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll following its three-game sweep of defending Big East Champion St. John's last weekend. The ranking marks the first time that the Panthers have been in the polls since the 2010 season when they climbed as high as 20th.
Patience and power at the plate has allowed Pitt to become one of the most productive offensive units in the nation. Coming into the week, the Panthers are sixth in home runs per game (0.95), 13th in on-base percentage (.411), 13th in slugging percentage (.457), 15th in home runs (20), 16th in runs (179), and 24th in batting average (.306) among all teams in the Division-I ranks.
The Panthers lead all Big East teams in seven major offensive categories - batting average (.303) on-base percentage (.411), slugging percentage (.451), runs (189, 8.59 per game), home runs (20), RBI (164), and total bases (353) - and are also second in walks (114), and triples (16) and third overall in hits (237).
Pitt's lineup features six players with .300-plus batting averages (minimum of 60 plate appearances), eight players with at least one home run, four players with 18 or more RBI, four players with at least 20 runs scored, and seven players with two or more stolen bases.
Towson heads into its series with Pitt with a 13-10 record. The Tigers, in their final season as a program, are led on offense by Dominic Fratantuono who is batting .396 with 26 RBI and three home runs. Mike Gottlieb coaches Towson and is in his 26th season with the program.
GAME 1: FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 1 p.m. EST
PITT: RHP Ethan Mildren (4-1, 3.77 ERA)
TOWSON: RHP Mike Volpe (3-1, 2.84)
GAME 2: FRIDAY, MARCH 29, TBD
PITT: RHP Matt Wotherspoon (4-1, 3.53 ERA)
TOWSON: RHP Paul Beers (0-2, 5.40 ERA)
GAME 3: SATURDAY, MARCH 30, 1 p.m. ET
PITT: RHP Rhys Aldenhoven (4-1, 3.28 ERA)
TOWSON: RHP Brandon Gonnella (2-1, 4.71 ERA)
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Leblanc Named NCBWA All-American