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Pitt baseball, track and field coaches announce 2016-17 schedules - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Pitt baseball, track and field coaches announce 2016-17 schedules

This+will+be+Pitt+baseball+head+coach+Joe+Jordano%27s+20th+season+with+the+Panthers.%0APhotographer%3A+Pete+Madia%2FPitt+Athletics
This will be Pitt baseball head coach Joe Jordano's 20th season with the Panthers.
Photographer: Pete Madia/Pitt Athletics

This will be Pitt baseball head coach Joe Jordano's 20th season with the Panthers. Photographer: Pete Madia/Pitt Athletics

Pete Madia/Pitt Athletics

Pete Madia/Pitt Athletics

This will be Pitt baseball head coach Joe Jordano's 20th season with the Panthers. Photographer: Pete Madia/Pitt Athletics

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

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For Pitt head baseball coach Joe Jordano and head track and field coach Alonzo Webb, revealing their teams’ respective 2016-17 schedules on Tuesday meant new opportunities for their teams to show significant advancement as ACC competitors — a task both coaches think is achievable by the end of their seasons.

Jordano made the announcement in a press release in advance of his 20th season as head coach of the Panthers and fourth season in the ACC.

“There is no question it is extremely competitive and will be a true test for our team,” Jordano said in the release. “This early schedule will test our young team and present a formidable challenge. Those early weekends will hopefully prepare us for a potential post-season berth.”

The team’s chances to make the conference tournament have increased this year with the expansion of the ACC tournament from 10 to 12 teams. Last year, the Panthers finished No. 13 out of 14 teams in the ACC, only one game behind No. 12 Notre Dame.

Last season, Pitt’s baseball team held a 25-26 overall record and 10-18 in the ACC –– the strongest conference in the nation. They will try to build off the progress made last year and earn their first berth to the ACC Tournament after missing out on postseason play in their first three years in the conference.

The team will commence its season on Feb.15 in Kissimmee, Florida, to face off against Kansas State, Ohio State and Delaware. The following week, they will head back to Florida for their first three-game series against Siena before wrapping up non-conference play in Spartanburg, North Carolina, at the USC Upstate Tournament.

“The ACC is incredibly tough and will be very strong again this year. We open up our ACC schedule at Louisville, and it will be our first time facing the Cardinals since our Big East days, not an easy place to play,” Jordano said in the release.

The Panthers will host ACC competitors Notre Dame and Virginia Tech in March before going on the road to play Duke and Virginia on the road. Beside traveling to Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, Pitt will play Miami, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State at the Charles L. Cost Field.

“We will also host regional rivals, Penn State and West Virginia, so our home fans will see plenty of great baseball this spring,” Jordano said in the release.

In addition to the baseball team, the track and field team will have their own “Backyard Brawls” against local rivals in their upcoming season.

Webb’s announcement of the track and field team’s 2016-17 schedule comes four days after the conclusion of the Panthers’ cross country season at NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals –– with the exception of sophomore Gillian Schriever, who will race in the 6k at the NCAA Cross Country Championships Nov. 19.

Less than a month remains before the track and field season gets underway with Pitt’s Blue-Gold intrasquad meet.

“This is a year of expectations,” Webb said in a press release. “After concluding our cross country seasons and seeing the development and progress that was made, we expect to have a carryover effect to the indoor and outdoor seasons with the entire track and field team.”

The team will start its season at the Blue-Gold Meet on Dec. 2 in Pittsburgh before traveling along the East Coast and Midwest for several invitationals. The ACC and NCAA indoor championships will take place in late February and early March, respectively, while the season will end at the ACC and NCAA Outdoor championships in late May and early June for any qualifying student-athletes.

“Based on how the six-week conditioning phase has gone, there is great optimism for our program,” Webb said in the release. “The blue-collar work ethic that has been on display this fall has been more than encouraging. The plan has always been to improve on the previous year’s performances and ACC standing.”

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Pitt baseball, track and field coaches announce 2016-17 schedules