The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • April 12, 2024
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • April 12, 2024

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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • April 12, 2024
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • April 12, 2024

Takeaways | Pitt baseball sweeps Maine in season opener

A+right-handed+pitcher+throws+the+ball+during+the+Blue%2FGold+Fall+World+Series+at+the+Charles+L.+Cost+Field+on+Oct.+27%2C+2023.+
Ethan Shulman | Visual Editor
A right-handed pitcher throws the ball during the Blue/Gold Fall World Series at the Charles L. Cost Field on Oct. 27, 2023.

Following a disappointing 2023 campaign, Pitt baseball started off its 2024 season with a bang, sweeping its first series against Maine. The Panthers won their games against the Black Bears 10-7, 7-4 and 10-3.

The Panthers struggled mightily last season when it came to pitching, and their offense was unable to keep up. But with their performance over the weekend, it looks like the Panthers could turn things around this year. 

Fielding played a big role in the Panthers’ success against Maine. Through three contests, the Panthers have a team fielding statistic of 1.000 — a perfect score. On the other hand, Maine finished the weekend with a .957 score, giving up four errors across the three games. 

Pitt’s batters also came to play, as six players tallied three or more hits, with junior catcher Jayden Melendez and junior infielder Luke Cantwell both getting five. 

Cantwell, in particular, had himself quite the weekend. Cantwell logged 10 total bases and homered on two of his five hits, finishing the weekend with 10 total hits. Cantwell also tied with Melendez in RBIs, with both scoring five. 

While the batting from the Panthers was a massive positive point to pull from this weekend, their pitching did not perform too well. In their first two contests, they allowed seven and four runs, respectively. Senior pitcher Jack Sokol and first-year pitcher Aidan Coleman struggled mightily in the series. Both pitchers threw for four innings each, and both allowed three earned runs for an earned run average of 6.75 apiece. 

While the Panthers’ bats stepped up to the occasion, the pitchers must improve in order to stack up against better competition as its ACC conference schedule approaches quickly. 

But the Panthers did have some bright spots on the mound, as junior pitcher Ethan Firoved only allowed one hit in four innings. With no earned runs given up, Firoved plants himself firmly as the brightest spot on the pitching staff following the first series.

In order for the Panthers to continue their positive momentum, there are a couple of keys they need to keep in mind.

Most importantly, the Panthers must improve on their starting pitching. With a team starter ERA of 4.85, the Panthers will struggle if they cannot score to keep up with the runs they allow in. 

Second, they must limit the amount of times that they strike out. Through the first three games, the Panthers have struck out 24 times, 11 of which coming in their 10-3 win. They will have to limit the opportunities they give other teams to take advantage of, which starts with batting issues. 

Finally, the Panthers must establish more control in their pitches. They threw for seven wild pitches, whereas Maine only threw for five. While they had zero errors by fielders, it is imperative that the Panthers figure out what is going wrong with the pitchers and fix it quickly. 

Pitt baseball continues its season on Feb. 23 at the Kleberg Bank College Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas, against Washington. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

About the Contributor
Ari Meyer, Staff Writer