May 23—Pitt's baseball team, ranked as high as No. 14 in the nation after taking two of three games from Virginia in March, will carry a seven-game losing streak into the ACC Tournament that begins Tuesday at Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C.
The Panthers (22-19, 16-17 ACC) are seeded No. 10 in the 12-team tournament and will be in Pool C with No. 3 N.C. State (28-15, 19-14) and No. 6 North Carolina (26-24, 18-18). The Panthers will play North Carolina at 7 p.m. Tuesday and N.C. State at 7 p.m. Thursday in their second tournament appearance since joining the conference in 2014.
In pool play, the team with the best record will qualify for the semifinals Saturday. In the event of ties, the highest-seeded team will advance, putting No. 10 Pitt at a disadvantage. The Panthers must win both games to reach the semifinals. The championship game is Sunday.
Pitt ended its regular season Saturday with a 10-2 loss at Wake Forest (20-27, 10-22). The Demon Deacons (20-27, 10-22) swept the three-game series from the Panthers, but did not qualify for the ACC Tournament.
Pitt's season was turned upside-down after the Panthers won eight of 10 games, including two of three from North Carolina on April 17-18. Pitt canceled the next seven games while in covid-19 protocol and didn't play for 2 1/2 weeks.
When the Panthers resumed their season, they lost eight of their final 10 regular-season games, including N.C. State's three-game sweep May 14-16. Before that series, Pitt was still ranked No. 16 nationally.
Pitt finished the season unranked and in a tie for fifth place in the ACC Coastal with Duke (28-20, 16-17). N.C. State is ranked 23rd in the nation by D1baseball.com, joining No. 8 Notre Dame and No. 16 Florida State as the only ACC schools in the rankings.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .