English: Logo for the athletics teams at the University of Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Pitt Panthers came up short in their attempt to win the BE baseball tourney on Saturday after a 10 inning 3-2 loss to Notre Dame. With an RPI of 65 the loss leaves Pitt on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. They will now have to wait until Monday for the field to be announced to learn their fait. I believe that a second place finish in the BE should be enough to get them in.
Pitts two losses of the tourney came against Notre Dame with errors at critical moments of the game. A pair of crucial errors help to lead them to a 5-3 defeat in their earlier meeting and Pitt committed 5 errors in Saturdays game.
Pitt looked poised to take the lead in the top of the 9th when they had base-runners on first and second but a controversial call stalled their rally. Notre Dame pitcher Nick McCarty threw the ball to first in an attempt to pick off the runner but the throw went into the first base stands. Both runners took two bases on the error which scored the runner from second and gave Pitt the lead but the umpires told the runners to back up a base, putting runners at second and third instead and taking the run off of the board. Pitt coach Joe Jordano protested but after a meeting from the umpires the call was upheld. The ruling made was that the pitcher threw over to first base while still in contact with the rubber which limited both runners to one base. If he had left the rubber then the runners would have been given two bases each. The first base umpire ruled that the pitcher did disengage the rubber but was over ruled by the third and home plate umpires. Still Pitt was in scoring position with one out but the next batter popped out to third and the following batter struck out to retire the side.
The bottom of the 10th started horribly for Pitt as Evan Oswald booted a ground ball from ND Charlie Markson. This was followed by Dylan Wolsonovich error on a grounder by Frank DeSico which gave ND two base runners with no outs. ND bunted the runners up to second and third and Pitt intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases and to set up a double play possibility. Instead Ryan Bull hit a sharp single to center to score the winning run.
The sixth seeded Notre Dame will take on eighth seeded Connecticut for the championship on Sunday.
Pitt is only 99 days away from their ACC and season opener on Labor Day against Florida State at Heinz Field. This will probably be one of their biggest season openers in recent memory.
If the ACC were to end the football season with a rivalry game, who would best fit that role for Pitt? Virginia Tech? Miami? Boston College? Penn St? Some other team? What are your thoughts?