Here is Erie Express’ take on our baseball team and its game tonight… Thanks Rick!

As of today, Pitt has not played their last two series due to COVID-19 protocols.  The first series missed was with Top 5 Louisville (ranking at the time of the series) and the second missed series was with Northern Kentucky this past weekend.  In the midst of not playing, Pitt has risen to 1st place in the Coastal division.

Tonight, our Coach Bell-lead baseball team will visit Morgantown, WV to play the Backyard Brawl with the beloved Mountaineers at 6:30pm.  WVU started the season ranked in the top 25, but have fallen short of the early pollster’s anticipated success and stand at 15-21 overall.  One of those Hoopie losses was at the hands of our Panthers by 5-1 at Cost Field on April 6th.  In that game, Pitt’s # 3 starter (IMO), senior Chris Gomez pitched well and garnered his 2nd win of the season.  I expect we may see Gomez again tonight.

Pitt needs this non-ACC game to shake off the rust and get back into a positive groove for this weekend’s series with BC at the friendly confines of Cost Field.

The last game Pitt played was on April 18th in a loss to UNC (9-10) after taking the first 2 games from the Tar Heels in that series.

The Panther’s series losses this season were to Duke (losing 2 of 3 games), VT (lost all 3 games to a freshmen laced line-up) and to ND (losing 2 of 3 games).  To date, Pitt has played (8) ACC series, so they are 5-3 in ACC series, 14-10 in conference games and 20-11 overall.

There are (three) ACC series left on the schedule (nine games), provided the Louisville series is NOT made up (as currently being reported).  HC Bell needs to rely on his veteran line-up and two ace pitchers to put the COVID mid-season interruption behind them and win the next two series with BC and NC State who are currently the bottom two teams in the Atlantic division.

The leaders on this team are clearly seniors Nico Popa OF and  David Yanni 2B. 

Nico Popa

Popa is currently hitting a team high .351 with 8 home runs in the 31 games he has started and is the # 2 hitter in the line-up.  Yanni has struggled with his bat after getting injured in the VT series, yet he has not missed a game and is currently hitting .241 with a team high 9 home runs.  The COVID break may have been good for Yanni and Pitt needs his bat to get hot in these final (3) series to steer the team to a regional series.

The two ace pitchers are both transfers and in their 1st year with Pitt.  Junior Mitch Myers has a 3.14 ERA (earned run average) with a 3-4 W-L record in 9 starts, but he has lost some low scoring games where the Pitt bats failed to produce. 

Another junior, Matt Gilbertson has a 3.53 ERA and is 5-3 in 9 starts.  Both average 6.5 innings per start and have numerous games with a 100+ pitch count.  The bullpen is suspect with an ERA above 4.50, but senior reliever Jordan McCrum has emerged as a reliable closer with 4 saves and a 1.96 ERA.

The Panthers look for a Backyard Brawl sweep tonight, but more importantly take the field to try to recapture the magic of the season to date after a long COVID related break from meaningful baseball.

In other related baseball news per PSN, the Orioles called up from their Double A squad, Erie native and Pitt alumni Issac Mattson to join their pitching staff

Editors Note: I’m done screwing around with the crap I’m reading in the comments. You all know my (our) standards for commenting on here. Anything outside of those and a few things will happen – I will not long address comments that are held back by WordPress for “moderation”, instead I will automatically delete them and ban the commenter.

Personally, I find it objectionable to see the ethnic slurs and name calling that end up posted on the site, and despite the large number of posters and readers I doubt that the Pitt Athletic Administration treats The Pitt POV with respect if they dial in and read some of the nasty comments being written about Narduzzi.  Commenters can attack his competence, recruiting and record, but the ethnic slurs and name calling are over the top, so stop doing it.

The race baiting stuff on here in the last article was way over the top and racism, sexism and anything I (and I alone) feel is inappropriate will be dealt with more harshly than in the past.

Don’t know how many time I can say the same things folks…

32 thoughts on “BASEBALL RINGING (with coach) BELL

  1. Good luck to Pitt tonight. Pitt needs this win for RPI. RPI is the primary factor on seedings in the Regionals. Pitt has an outside shot of hosting a regional. Most likely a high two seed though at a drivable destination. I plan to be there wherever there is. Regional play begins May 31. H2P!

    Panthers 9
    WVU 2

    Hoopies do that. Come on.


  2. Nice job, Erie! I was going to take a break from the POV but then I saw you had written an article.

    Senior Nico Popa is a Seton-LaSalle grad. He’s had a nice career at Pitt.

    I think Sophomore Corcoran was supposed to be one of Pitt’s weekend starters, but he didn’t pitch until recently – must have had an injury. I think he’s 6’9”, is I remember correctly.

    Go Pitt.


    1. Billy Corcoran is 6′ 8″ and has been injured this season, but he would be a welcome addition to the starting rotation, especially this late in the season and with the regionals right around the corner.

      If Pitt can throw (4) legitimate starters out to the mound, Myers, Gilbertson, Gomez and Corcoran, the college world series could be a reality.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Erie Express. Was very glad to see your article when I checked the POV. Was afraid that I was going to see another article on being and nothingness by Jean POV Sartre. Not played since 4/18, rust indeed!


    1. Hobie –

      “What happens in baseball is less a matter of the material facts on the ground than it is a matter of who did what—that is, who is to be credited with this or that action. To play baseball is always to be absorbed in the task of figuring out how to apportion praise and blame. Baseball’s concerns are, in this sense, forensic or juridical.”

      Agree or Disagree?


      1. Reed – If baseball’s essence is praise and blame, baseball is better seen as epideictic rhetoric, not forensic or political concerns, according to Aristotle. 🙂


      2. I answered you earlier Reed, but my answer was not accepted by the algorithm censor. I guess posts about Aristotle and epideictic rhetoric are verboten. Or, maybe it’s just my crazy posts in general that are verboten. 🙂


  4. Looking closer at the final 3 ACC series for the baseball team, add W_F to the bottom of the Atlantic division. So, that means Pitt will play the entire bottom of the Atlantic division to end the season.

    If Pitt is not in 1st place and heading to a regional game, I won’t say what I’m thinking right now. Let’s just say the Coastal championship is “on the tee”.

    We did lose 2 of 3 to Duke at the start of this ACC season and the Blue Devils are in last place of the Coastal division.


  5. VoR just sent me this good article about basball predictions…

    Here is their take on Pitt’s team and chances:



    Pittsburgh has routinely been at the bottom of the ACC, but they showed a lot of promise last season with a great start before they lost five consecutive games including a series sweep at Miami. The Panther offense was impressive. They averaged just under seven and a half runs per game, and they return their entire lineup. They had the seventh best Team-Slugging Percentage in the ACC thanks in large part to them hitting the second most doubles in the ACC.

    Outfielders Kyle Hess, Ron Washington Jr., and Nico Popa make for a solid outfield. Hess was the leading hitter for the Panthers, and Washington Jr. led the team with four home runs. Popa had a career year in 2019 with 15 doubles and eight home runs, which he should’ve been drafted for afterwards, but he was off to slow start in 2020.

    The infield put together a good season led by JUCO transfers first baseman Bryce Hulett, catcher Riley Wash, and third baseman Samuel Frontino, all three of which had an OPS greater than .877.

    The questions for the Panthers surround their pitching staff. They received a couple of big grad transfer pieces in Stephen Hansen (Iona) and Jordan McCrum. McCrum is one of three Pitt pitchers who can sit in the low-nineties with his fastball. Starters Billy Corcoran, Matt Gilbertson, and Mitch Myers all return for this season.

    Corcoran and Myers can sit in the lower-nineties with Corcoran probably being the Panthers’ best power option. The starters did will at the start of the season, but they combined to give up 13 runs in their first and only ACC series against Miami. A couple of freshmen could join the fray.

    Two-way player Lucas Ismali was up to the upper-eighties last year, and righty David Ferguson could emerge to give the Panthers more depth with a fastball up to 91 and a big breaking curveball.

    Player – OF Kyle Hess

    Pitcher – RHP Billy Corcoran

    Freshman – RHP David Ferguson

    Breakout – RHP Jordan McCrum


  6. Pitt started none of the pitchers I mentioned – the guy Bell started had a 6.16 ERA to start the game. He had one good at bat in the 1st inning striking out one after raising his ERA to 6.23, yielding 1 run to the hoopies.

    Meanwhile, Pitt is hitless after 2 innings.

    The Mountaineers starter has a 7.71 ERA and is making the Pitt hitters look foolish.


  7. The hoopies just scored again with the bottom of the order 2 out run producing hit.


  8. Under covid protocols, was Pitt even allowed to practice?

    They are more than just rusty today. But one bad game won’t doom their RPI. Big series against BC, NC State and Wake to finish the year before the ACC tournament.

    Notre Dame and Louisville are the only schools I see as hosting a regional at this point. The top 16 schools in ranking based on the selection committee get that honor.


    1. No practice until a few days ago.

      Poor pitcher decisions by Bell tonight. We all knew the bats would be silent / needed to counter with good pitching. Instead he throws guys with 6+ ERA’s.

      I’m sorry, but with ERA’s that high, you need to graduate and get a job outside of the sports world.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Louisville beat Vandy today 7-2

    Pitt getting a beat down 8-1 in the 6th. Poor choice of pitchers by Bell tonight – never gave the team a chance to win.


    1. You know I saw that. And thought to myself. I could gather some friends and co workers and we could make up a Texan of the Year award and present it to one of ourselves. But what would that prove?

      Same here with these AD’s. It’s a fraternity where they all look out for themselves and present themselves with feel good awards.

      I wonder what the criteria is for judging however. Probably some soft and subjective criteria because Pitt would fail the hard performance criteria in terms of winning percentage, financials and attendance figures.

      I did get a good laugh when I saw it but it came as no surprise. Coaching fraternity is the same way.


  10. Lucky they didn’t play L’Ville. Not sure we have beat L’Ville
    Since joining the ACC.

    Pitt is having a good year because the Corona Rule. Other teams players went to MLB. Here they come back as 5th year Seniors.


  11. Just an FYI. Reed: Calling Narduzzi meatballs is an ethnic slur, yet it always seems to slip by you.


    1. I beg to differ but I’ll refrain from those childish names. I have my own thoughts on cancel culture, name calling, censorship and crossing the line. But it’s Reeds blog and not mine. It’s his playground. So it’s his rules.


  12. Erie – just getting caught up after a couple of busy days. Enjoyed your post! Thanks for stepping up.
    Lets hope we rebound against BC.


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