Pitt wrestling, swimming compete in ACC Championship meets

Senior+Blaise+Vera+finished+third+in+the+100-yard+freestyle+and+will+represent+Pitt+in+the+NCAA+Championships+from+March+24-27.

Kaycee Orwig | Senior Staff Photographer

Senior Blaise Vera finished third in the 100-yard freestyle and will represent Pitt in the NCAA Championships from March 24-27.

By Henry Jackson , Staff Writer

Pitt athletics enjoyed an eventful and successful weekend. Men’s swimming competed in Greensboro, North Carolina, during the second round of the ACC Championships as the wrestling team competed in Raleigh, North Carolina, for ACC Championships of its own. One state over, the track and field team also competed for its conference championship in Clemson, South Carolina.

Meanwhile, the softball and baseball teams played down South in tournaments as they prepare for their conference schedules, with both teams showing promise in their respective appearances.

Baseball

Pitt baseball swept a three-game set against nationally ranked Florida State this weekend to open its ACC slate.

Softball

After suffering a shaky start to the season, Pitt softball managed to right the ship during a four-game series at the Black and Orange Challenge in Macon, Georgia, this weekend. The Panthers swept two games against Toledo while splitting a pair of games with Mercer, losing the latter 3-2 after three extra innings.

Although Pitt has struggled to produce runs all season, the Panther offense exploded to the tune of 21 combined runs this weekend. Most impressive was the performance of senior third baseman Morgan Batesole, who managed an astonishing nine hits in 14 at-bats over the weekend while also driving in 11 runs.

Pitt was equally strong on the mound. Junior pitcher Abbey Edwards added a complete game shutout on Saturday against Toledo, while first-year pitcher Dani Drogemuller pitched a complete game Friday against Mercer, striking out 10 batters while allowing zero earned runs.

The Panthers play next weekend in Boca Raton, Florida, at the Florida Atlantic University Parents Weekend tournament starting Thursday at 1 p.m. against Kentucky.

Men’s swimming

Capping off yet another season of improvement under head coach John Hargis, Pitt men’s swimming finished ninth at the ACC Championships. The Panthers excelled in the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing ninth, and senior Armin Remenyi took 10th in the 200-yard butterfly.

That said, senior Blaise Vera and junior Cooper Van Der Laan highlighted the weekend for Pitt. Both earned medals by finishing third in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard breaststroke, respectively, and will represent Pitt in the NCAA Championships from March 24-27.

Track and field 

Pitt men’s track and field tied with Clemson for fourth place at the ACC Championships, finishing with 48 points in the meet. The Panthers’ score benefited greatly from the efforts of senior Felix Wolter, who won the heptathlon by sweeping three events. Senior Ade Jones-Roundtree also contributed to Pitt’s second place finish in the 4×400-meter relay while also placing fifth in the 200-meter.

The women’s team, on the other hand, did not fare so well. It placed a dismal 13th while earning just 14 points, with senior Nikki Scherer’s eighth-place finish in the 400-meter being one of the only bright spots on the day.

Wrestling

Despite suffering a disappointing regular season, Pitt wrestling managed to rebound somewhat by placing fifth at the ACC Wrestling Championships. Finishing with 45 points, the Panthers’ performance was, as usual, highlighted by individual victories.

Most impressive was redshirt junior Nino Bonaccorsi’s victory over Virginia’s Jay Aiello in the 197-pound bracket. Following his close loss during last year’s championship in the 184-pound bracket, Bonaccorsi upgraded this season to the 197-pound bracket and managed to coast to a 10-4 victory over the defending champion Aiello.

Redshirt senior Jake Wentzel also defended his title in the 165-pound bracket, defeating Virginia’s Jake Keating 4-0.

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