Second baseman Matt Johnson
April 25, 2014
Pittsburgh (17-22, 9-12 ACC) at Arkansas Pine Bluff (17-23, 14-6 SWAC)
April 26-28, 2014 | Torii Hunter Baseball Complex | Pine Bluff, Ark.
Saturday: 6 p.m. CST | Sunday: Doubleheader beginning at Noon, CST
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – In its final non-conference series of the regular season, the University of Pittsburgh baseball team will head south to take on Arkansas Pine Bluff out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference for a three game series.
The series opener is set for Saturday evening at 6 p.m. CST (7 p.m. EST), followed by a doubleheader beginning at Noon CST on Sunday.
Pitt (17-22, 9-12 ACC) just ended an eight game losing streak in emphatic fashion by defeating No. 20 Clemson, 13-4, in the finale of a three game series at Charles L. Cost Field. The Clemson series marked the fourth-consecutive ACC series against a nationally-ranked opponent as Pitt faced No. 23 Georgia Tech, No. 1 Virginia, and No. 20 Miami prior to Clemson. The Panthers went 5-7 in those 12 games.
If the regular season were to end today, Pitt would find itself as one of the 10 teams participating in the ACC Tournament. The top team from the Atlantic division and the Coastal division each receive automatic bids into the tournament, followed by the next eight best conference records regardless of division. The Panthers are in sixth in the Coast division, and are 10th overall at 9-12.
After Pine Bluff, the Panthers have three ACC series remaining all coming against teams that are below .500 in conference play. Pitt will travel to Boston College (14-27, 5-16 ACC) next weekend before hosting Maryland (25-15, 9-11 ACC) the weekend of May 9-11. The Panthers will conclude the regular season at Notre Dame (16-24, 4-17 ACC) the weekend of May 15-17.
Joseph Harvey has been the ace for Pitt this season on the mound. Harvey just had a streak of 34.1 innings without allowing an earned run snapped during the Clemson series. That was the longest such streak in 47 years for the Panthers and Harvey now ranks third in the ACC with a 1.44 ERA during conference action. He is 2-1 overall this season with a 2.03 ERA.
The Lions are leading the Western Division of the SWAC with a 14-6 conference record and enter the weekend series with an overall record of 17-23. Powering the Lions offense is the reigning SWAC Player of the Year, shortstop Isias Alcantar. The senior is currently leading the conference in RBI (33), batting average (.326), home runs (4), and on-base percentage (.424).
For in-game updates and current information, follow @PittBaseballACC on Twitter.