PITTSBURGH, PA — Pitt travels to Raleigh, NC to take on NC State in their final and most pivotal ACC regular season series of the year, with ACC Tournament implications on the line. Pitt has won two of their last three games, one of them being against No. 11 Miami, while NC State has lost three straight.
Out of the 14 teams in the ACC, only the top 12 make it to the conference tournament, Pitt is currently sitting at 11 while NC State is holding onto that last spot. This series could be the different between going home on Saturday and fighting for a chance at an ACC title. With a series win, they will clinch a birth in the ACC Tournament for the third straight season. With a series loss of any kind they could become dependent on how Louisville does at home against Florida State.
The Panthers pounced on the Nittany Lions at PNC Park on Tuesday May 16, beating them 11-3. It was Pitt’s first win ever at PNC Park, snapping their 0-5 stretch over the previous three seasons, and beating Penn State for the first time since April 10, 2019. The Panthers hit three home runs, which included three-run shots by Noah Martinez and Kyle Hess, and a solo home run by CJ Funk that landed in the iconic “PIRATES” shrubs beyond the center field wall.
In a bullpen game, Jonathan Bautista provided a strong start for the Panthers. He went three innings, gave up one run on three hits and struck out four. While Holden Phelps, Quinn Konuzewski, Brady Devereux, Ryan Reed, and Nash Bryan all provided quality innings in relief to maintain the Panther lead.
Kyle Hess has hit .429, with three home runs (one grand slam), two triples, two doubles, 13 RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.190 in five combined games against No. 11 Miami, No. 12 West Virginia, and Penn State this past week. That included a career day on his senior day against No. 11 Miami. He hit a grand slam, a two-run triple, and robbed a possible go-ahead three-run home run, as he drove in six of Pitt’s seven runs that afternoon en route to a victory.
SETTING RECORDS AND CHASING MORE
With his double in their series-opener against Cal, Sky Duff tied John Shultz (2008-11) for Pitt’s career doubles record with 53 doubles. He is now only one double shy of becoming the…