Pitt scoops one win of three in weekend series

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Pitt scoops one win of three in weekend series

Pitt's Nick Yarnall (33) became the fifth Panther selected in the 2016 MLB Draft.  Emily Klenk | Staff Photographer

Pitt's Nick Yarnall (33) became the fifth Panther selected in the 2016 MLB Draft. Emily Klenk | Staff Photographer

Pitt's Nick Yarnall (33) became the fifth Panther selected in the 2016 MLB Draft. Emily Klenk | Staff Photographer

Pitt's Nick Yarnall (33) became the fifth Panther selected in the 2016 MLB Draft. Emily Klenk | Staff Photographer

By Ashwini Sivagnesh / For The Pitt News

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The Pitt baseball team started its ACC season with two demoralizing losses, but managed to walk off the field in North Carolina with a last-ditch victory.

At the ACC opener at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Panthers (7-6, ACC 1-2) faced catastrophic losses to the Tar Heels (14-2, ACC 2-1). Pitt fell 14-2 in game one, and 4-0 in game two, but pulled a win out for the final game of the series, 5-0.

Tar Heels pitcher Zac Gallen held off the Panthers at the onset of game one. Neither team managed to get runs until the bottom of the second, when North Carolina brought two runners in to raise the score 2-0, with two back-to-back sacrifice flies.

Pitt saw its first major setback in game one during the fifth inning, when it failed to recover from the Tar Heels’ eight-run inning.

During the fifth, with the score at 4-0, the Tar Heels filled the bases and picked up a rhythm that far surpassed Pitt’s. North Carolina managed six runs to bring the score to 9-1.

UNC sophomore Brian Miller hit a double, and left the score at 11-1 to end the inning.

The Tar Heels notched another three runs in the sixth and seventh innings. The Panthers had been failing to keep up but started to gain momentum in the ninth just as Pitt’s P.J. DeMeo’s single brought David Yanni back home for one last run.

The night ended with a crippling 14-2 loss for Pitt.

In the second game of the series, UNC maintained stamina from the first win and denied Pitt any opportunity to lead.

The Tar Heels’ reign continued in the first inning, as they took two around the field, marking an early 2-0 lead.

The third showed a promising start for Pitt with a Manny Pazos triple. The Panthers faced two outs as redshirt junior Jacob Wright tried to bring him home, but struck out.

In the bottom of the third, UNC got two more runs, bringing the score to 4-0.

Sophomore Charles LeBlanc didn’t get around the bases in the fourth, but the shortstop did deter a UNC double at the end of the inning. For the remaining five innings, both teams had strong innings defensively, with neither team scoring a run. The game ended 4-0.

In the final game, the Panthers avoided a series shutout, winning 5-0.

Jacob Wright bunted safely to first to begin the final fame, but was trapped as Pitt went down the order.

In the bottom of the first, Pitt junior Josh Falk got his first start of the season as a pitcher and left 11 batters without a hit.

The second inning saw no major action from either team, leading to a tense third.

Ron Sherman, Frank Maldonado and Wright had the bases loaded for Pitt, with no outs. Between Matt Johnson, Nick Yarnall and LeBlanc, the Panthers failed to bring any of the runners home.

Falk helped make sure the Tar Heels stayed put with a 1-2-3 inning, bringing the third to 0-0.

Grasping for redemption after the last inning, the Panthers loaded first and second at the top of the fourth. Sherman successfully hit one over the wall and brought the score to 3-0, marking Pitt’s first lead over the Tar Heels that weekend.

With a strong start in the fifth, Yarnell made it to third while Alex Kowalczyk got a fielder’s choice.

A UNC error from shortstop Logan Warmoth brought Yarnall home and raised the score in Pitt’s favor, 4-0. Aaron Schnurbusch hit an RBI single to bring Kowalczyk in the fifth for another run.

Pitt’s relief pitcher, Garrett Wrambel, impeded UNC’s victory, turning 12 of 18 batters back to the bench. He also ended the ninth with a 1-2-3 frame, bringing a Pitt victory of 5-0.

The Panthers’ next game is against Kent State in Kent, Ohio, 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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