Pitt Game Notes
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team will conclude the regular season at Wake Forest, taking on the Demon Deacons Thursday-Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C., looking to keep their ACC Tournament hopes alive.
The series will open Thursday at 6 p.m. with game two set for Friday at 6 p.m. The two teams will wrap up the regular season on Saturday at 12 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Pitt (22-28, 8-19 ACC) wraps up the 2017 regular season on the road, traveling to No. 20 Wake Forest for a three-game tilt with the Demon Deacons. The Panthers are coming off a 2-0 loss at West Virginia Tuesday evening, as Pitt squared off with the Mountaineers, who are ranked 20th in the nation in the latest RPI rankings, at Monongalia County Ballpark. Pitt’s last ACC weekend came as a sweep at the hands of NC State at Charles L. Cost Field last weekend. The Panthers’ last ACC win was an upset of No. 3 North Carolina on April 23 in Pittsburgh.
On the bump, Pitt will stick with the same rotation it threw for NC State, as lefty Josh Mitchell will get the start in the opener. Mitchell brings in a mark of 1-5 with a 4.37 ERA. He’s tossed 68.0 innings, allowing 33 earned runs off 83 hits and 20 walks, fanning 62 and allowing a .302 opponent average. Ace Josh Falk will get the call in game two, bringing in a mark of 3-7 with a 3.75 ERA. Falk has thrown 81.2 innings, surrendering 34 earned runs off 67 hits and 29 walks, striking out a team-high 72 batters and holding opponents to a .225 average. Freshman Dan Hammer will take the bump in the finale, bringing in a record of 3-5 with a 5.14 ERA. In his 56.0 innings, Hammer has allowed 32 earned runs off 62 hits and 23 walks, whiffing 49 and holding opponents to a .287 average.
Offensively, freshman Alex Amos continues to pace the group, hitting .297 in his 50 starts this year. First baseman Caleb Parry isn’t far behind at .282, as he leads the squad with 43 RBIs. Frank Maldonado is hitting at a .276 clip, adding 22 RBIs, while Jacob Wright (.262) leads the team with a .471 slugging percentage, adding 28 RBIs.
SCOUTING WAKE FOREST
No. 20 Wake Forest (36-16, 17-10 ACC) has won five of its last seven, including a series win over Florida State last weekend in Tallahassee, Fla. In addition to the series win over the Seminoles, Wake Forest has captured the series over Boston College, Miami, Georgia Tech and NC State, as well as a sweep of Notre Dame.
On the hill, Wake Forest will use a trio of righties. Parker Dunshee will get things going for the Demon Deacons, bringing in a record of 8-1 with a 4.23 ERA. In his 76.2 innings, Dunshee has allowed 36 earned runs off 78 hits and 19 walks, fanning 89 batters and holding opponents to a .264 average. Donnie Sellers will get the call in game two, carrying a 3-5 record and a 4.39 ERA. Sellers has thrown 67.2 innings, allowing 33 earned runs off 67 hits and 23 walks, fanning 46 and allowing opponents a .258 average. Connor Johnstone will close out the weekend for Wake Forest, bringing in an unblemished 7-0 record with a team-best 3.26 ERA. Johnstone has thrown 77.1 innings, surrendering 28 earned runs off 65 hits and 30 walks, striking out 54 and holding opponents to a .229 average.
Offensively, the Demon Deacons are one of the hottest teams in the league, boasting a team average of .312 with six starters over the .300 mark. Jonathan Pryor leads the way with a mark of .375 in his 52 starts, adding 30 RBIs. Gavin Sheets (.322) leads the squad with 73 RBIs, while Johnny Aiello (.327) brings in a team-best .653 slugging percentage. Seven Demon Deacons have 30 or more RBIs, as they have outscored opponents 413-264 this season.
SERIES WITH WAKE FOREST
The meetings will be just the fifth, sixth and seventh all-time in a series dating back to the 1940 season. The two teams are tied 2-2 all-time as the Panthers grabbed a 2-1 series win in the only other ACC meeting in 2015.
Wake Forest earned an 8-7 win in the first game of the all-time series in 1940. In 2015, Pitt posted an 8-3 win in game one and an 8-4 victory in the finale to take the series at Charles L. Cost Field.
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