April 17, 2014
Pittsburgh (16-20, 8-10 ACC) vs. No. 20 Clemson (22-14, 10-7 ACC)
April 18-20, 2014 · Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex · Pittsburgh, Pa.
Fri: 6 p.m. | Sat: 3 p.m. | Sun: 12 p.m.
Series Notes: Pitt
All-Time Record vs. Clemson: 0-0
Game 1: RHP Joseph Harvey (JR/Audubon, Pa.) (2-1, 2.11 ERA) vs. LHP Matthew Crownover (6-3, 2.28 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Matt Wotherspoon (SR/Mountain Top, Pa.) (3-5, 5.40 ERA) vs. RHP Daniel Gossett (4-0, 2.12 ERA)
Game 3: RHP T.J. Zeuch (FR/Mason, Ohio) (1-2, 2.60 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Long (2-1, 3.75 ERA)
The University of Pittsburgh baseball team (16-20, 8-10 ACC) will host No. 20 Clemson (22-14, 10-7 ACC) in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) series on April 18-20 at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex in Pittsburgh, Pa. The series, which marks the first all-time meeting between the two programs, is the Panthers’ record-fourth consecutive three-game set against a nationally ranked opponent and third in a row at home.
Pitt enters the weekend riding a six-game losing streak for the second time this season, which is tied for the program’s longest drought since 2009. The Panthers’ recent struggles have been highlighted by a dry spell at the plate, with the team averaging just 1.7 runs per game dating back to a 3-0 shutout loss against Virginia on April 6. Excluding Miami (Fla.)’s 12-run offensive outburst on April 11, Pitt’s pitching staff has maintained a 2.68 ERA in five of its last six contests. However, during that stretch, such a showing on the mound has been paralleled by a .164 team batting average (30-for-183). The Panthers’ slump has dropped their season mark to .248, the lowest total that head coach Joe Jordano (1998-present) has seen in his 17 years at the helm.
Despite downing Coastal Carolina, 9-6, on April 15, the Tigers have lost four of their last six games. At 10-7 in conference play, Clemson holds third place in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Clemson is batting .288 as a team while averaging 6.3 runs per game, and its arsenal of arms, which boasts a 3.89 team ERA, includes two starting pitchers with ERAs well below 3.00.
Harvey Hurling: Joseph Harvey (JR/Audubon, Pa.), who will make his first career Friday start this weekend, has been Pitt’s most dominating pitcher this season. The owner of a 2-1 record and 2.11 ERA, Harvey has tossed 28.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, including 21 straight against top-25 teams. The junior’s streak is not only a season high for the Panthers; it is also the program’s longest stretch in the last 48 years. The record for the most consecutive frames without permitted an earned run is 44.2 innings, set by Dave Welty in 1967.
The right-handed gunslinger’s successes this season extend well beyond his historic streak. In fact, they speak largely to his career numbers as a whole. In his three seasons spent in the blue and gold, Harvey has posted a 2-0 record and unfathomable 0.92 ERA against nationally ranked units, allowing only four earned runs in 39 frames of work. Furthermore, Harvey hasn’t allowed an earned run in eight of his nine appearances against top-25 foes.
Home, Sweet Home: Pitt, which has won nine of its last 12 games at home, welcomes Clemson to Charles L. Cost Field this weekend in what has become the program’s most impressive home stretch in its 107-year history. The Panthers, who own a 64-24 overall record at Charles L. Cost Field (.727 winning percentage), have won 34 of their last 42 games at home (.810 winning percentage) and 20 of their last 25 (.800 winning percentage).
On the season, Pitt has registered a 9-4 record at Charles L. Cost Field (.692 winning percentage), including a pair of conference sweeps over Duke (March 21-22) and Georgia Tech (March 28-30). The Panthers have swept previously held a program-record 19 consecutive conference games at home over a 705 calendar day period before falling to top-ranked Virginia, 4-0, on April 4. On April 5, Pitt topped the Cavaliers by a 2-1 score, marking the first time in program history that the Panthers defeated the No. 1 team in the country.