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Persistence on the Plate Leads Pitt to 11-8 Comeback Victory Over Bucknell in Dwelling Opener



PITTSBURGH — Pitt used nice persistence and self-discipline on the plate to mount a late comeback to defeat Bucknell, 11-8, of their dwelling opener at Charles L. Value Subject on Tuesday.

The Panthers (5-3) win makes it three straight wins and 4 of their final 5, as they took three out of 4 towards the Harvard Crimson in Port Charlotte, Fla. final weekend. This win places the all-time sequence 25-12 in favor of the Panthers over the Bison (2-5). That is additionally the fortieth dwelling opener win for the Panthers and the primary since 2020, after they defeated the Indiana State Sycamores 11-1.

Panthers head coach Mike Bell spoke on the significance of the persistence that his batters delivered to the plate towards the Bison. He stated that it allowed his staff to get some massive hits, but in addition to earn walks that led the Panthers to victory.

“We speak about profitable pitches,” Bell stated. “Typically that’s spoiling an excellent pitch by an opposing pitcher. Typically that’s spitting at issues exterior the zone. Our persistence right this moment allowed us to construct some innings…Persistence might be the important thing to right this moment. I feel it’s going to be a theme for us coaches too is persistence.”

Bucknell began the scoring within the prime of the second inning. Sophomore infielder Sean Keys reached first base on a fielder’s selection after which stole second base. Junior catcher Nick Adamo doubled to proper middle to deliver Keys dwelling for the primary run.

Pitt stared the underside of the third inning with junior outfielder Dom Popa strolling, junior catcher Johnny Lengthy III singling to maneuver Popa to 3rd base and graduate third baseman Sky Duff strolling as properly to load the bases. Junior outfielder CJ Funk then crushed a ball over the precise area wall for a grand slam to present Pitt a 4-1 lead.

The Bison lower the lead within the prime of the fourth inning to 2 runs. With two runners on first base and second base, Pitt sophomore shortstop Tommy Tavarez received the out at second base, however junior second baseman Justin Acal threw the ball away from first base. This error allowed sophomore infielder Billy Kender to makes it from second base all the way in which to dwelling plate.

Panthers junior left-handed pitcher Zack Oswald got here in as a reduction pitcher within the prime of the fifth inning. He struck out a batter and received a floor out and seemed inc management.

Sadly for Oswald, he quickly misplaced that management, strolling the subsequent two batters and hitting a batter to load the bases. He walked one other batter to surrender a run after which Keys hit a double off of him to attain two runners to present Bucknell a 5-4 lead.

Pitt loaded the bases within the backside of the fifth inning, however first-year utility man AJ Nessler hit right into a double play that Bucknell executed completely to attain no runs within the inning.

The Bison continued so as to add it on within the prime of the sixth inning. Panthers redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Brady Devereaux allowed a three-run dwelling run to junior outfielder Jacob Corson that sailed over the left area wall to present the Bison an 8-4 lead.

The Panthers lower into the Bison’s benefit within the backside of the seventh inning. Duff walked, Funk singled after which senior first baseman Noah Martinez doubled down the primary bottom line, scoring each Duff and Funk. The Panthers would ultimately load the bases, however Acal struck out and Popa grounded out to finish the inning.

Pitt graduate infielder Brett Heckert got here in as a pinch hitter for Lengthy to begin the underside of the eighth inning and doubled down the third bottom line.

Heckert’s double began Pitt’s lengthy eighth inning, as Duff moved to first on a success by pitch after which Funk walked to load the bases. Martinez walked to chop the result in one, senior designated hitter Jack Anderson scored the tying run on a success by pitch and Nessler walked to present Pitt a 9-8 lead.

Tavarez struck out, however Acal hit a grounder that bounced off the Bison first baseman, sophomore Tyler Dunn, to attain Martinez. Popa walked as properly to extend Pitt’s result in three.

Graduate right-handed pitcher Nash Byran shut issues down for Pitt within the ninth inning, holding Bucknell scoreless and incomes a save.

Sophomore left-handed Quin Konuszewski, junior right-handed pitcher Dylan Simmons and Bryan made massive reduction appearances late within the victory for the Panthers over the Bison. They mixed for 3.1 innings pitched, just one hit and one stroll allowed and 7 strikeouts.

Junior right-handed pitcher Holden Phelps made his first begin for Pitt towards Bucknell. He pitched 4 innings, made 4 strikeouts, allowed three hits, two runs, one unearned run and one stroll. He’ll function the mid-week pitcher for Pitt going ahead all through 2023.

Bell stated that lots of his pitchers are new to this degree and that they may work to fill sure roles this season. He additionally recommended Phelps on his first begin and his reduction pitching late for solidifying the victory.

“When you do get a lead, as you undergo our schedule, you might have to have the ability to maintain these leads late. Having the ability to pitch and play protection will likely be a key element for us.”

Pitt travels again to Florida this weekend. They may tackle Mount St. Mary’s and Stetson in two video games every in DeLand, Fla.


Duquesne Provides 6-foot-8 Ahead, Former Wofford Commit Elijah Sturdy



Earlier this week, the Duquesne basketball employees prolonged a suggestion to Elijah Sturdy, a 6-foot-8 ahead within the class of 2023.

Sturdy is a 6-foot-8, 245-pound energy ahead who performs for Myers Park Excessive Faculty and Staff Curry in North Carolina. From Charlotte, he’s ranked because the No. 62 energy ahead within the nation and the No. 9 participant in North Carolina, per 247 Sports activities.

Duquesne basketball on Pittsburgh Sports activities Now could be sponsored by The Summit Academy: setting younger males on the trail to a greater future.

Setting young men on the path to a better future.

“Coach Thomas provided me,” Sturdy advised Pittsburgh Sports activities Now. “The supply means lots. It’s an amazing program that’s prepared to take an opportunity on me.”

Sturdy has picked up provides from Samford, Duquesne, Saint Bonaventure, and George Mason all throughout the previous week. He additionally holds provides from Abilene Christian, Florida Atlantic, UNCW, USF, NC A&T, Campbell, Appalachian State, and others. After committing to Wofford in September 2022, Sturdy reopened his recruitment in late January 2023. On the time, the senior was averaging 15 factors and 5 rebounds per sport, in accordance with his coach.

Sturdy advised PSN that in the intervening time, he’s centered on ending out his high-school season and has not scheduled any visits. Nonetheless, the senior stated that he does plan on taking some after his season.


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Thomas, Cummings Duo Shines as Lincoln Park Punches Ticket to Petersen Occasions Middle



There will not be a greater duo in all of WPIAL basketball than Lincoln Park’s Meleek Thomas and Brandin Cummings. The pair has led No. 1 Lincoln Park again to the Petersen Occasions Middle after defeating No. 5 Highlands 87-64 within the 4A semifinals.

Thomas recorded a game-high 29 factors with Cummings not too far behind with 21 of his personal.

Whereas the duo has impressed but once more, the bond goes additional than simply enjoying on the basketball courtroom, which permits them to be so profitable.

“I feel we’re extra of a household,” Cummings mentioned. “Me and Meleek have identified one another for some time and we’ve talked about this for some time. Once we are on that courtroom, we’re actually harmful.”

Thomas and Cummings introduced a world of hassle for Highlands who simply fell too far behind and had no likelihood of clawing again because the duo got here in waves for the Leopards.

“They’re energy 5 gamers,” Lincoln Park head coach Mike Bariski mentioned. “They feed off of one another. They commerce back-and-forth with who’s the main scorer.”

Thomas drops 29 factors in Lincoln Park’s semifinals victory over Highlands.

With the tandem propelling Lincoln Park within the semifinal matchup, the Leopards noticed an enormous enchancment on offense in comparison with their quarterfinals tilt the place they scored 50 factors in opposition to South Allegheny. 

“Final recreation, we acquired taken out of our recreation a little bit bit, that’s why we didn’t rating as a lot.” Cummings mentioned. “We’re a crew that likes to place that ball within the bucket, so we got here out right here and performed our recreation they usually couldn’t cease that.”

There was no scarcity of offense from each Lincoln Park (24-1) and Highlands (21-4), however it was Thomas and Cummings that knocked down shot after shot, together with a put-back slam from the latter. The junior Pitt commit ended the primary quarter with 11 factors whereas Thomas – one of many high gamers within the class of 2025 – buried three triples to go together with his 15 first quarter factors. 

“We’re a high-level scoring crew,” Thomas mentioned. “Once we are flowing and we all know we’re in that mode, it’s laborious for individuals to remain in entrance of us.”

Whereas Lincoln Park caught hearth early, Highlands lingered round. Junior guard Cam Reigard hit two threes in fast succession after a timeout within the first quarter as he completed with 12 factors. 6-foot-8 ahead Bradyn Foster additionally added six factors within the first quarter – on the best way to 13 complete factors – because the Rams trailed by eight. 

After surpassing 20 factors within the opening body, Highlands failed to attain greater than 14 factors within the remaining quarters. The scoring limitation was a testomony to the robust defensive presence Lincoln Park performed with.

“The sport plan was to strain them with man and we had been going to make use of our zone press someplace to throw it at them,” Bariski mentioned. “Luckily, our full courtroom strain affected them. We had been capable of put that defensive strain on them and I feel it affected them.”

One participant that was particularly impacted by the press was Highlands’ Jimmy Kunst. The 6-foot-3 sophomore led the Rams on the evening with 17 factors, however Lincoln Park discovered a solution to gradual him down.

“Kunst is a good participant,” Bariski mentioned.”I feel we wore him down a little bit bit as a result of we full courtroom pressed him the entire recreation.”

As Lincoln Park started to run away with the competition, the Leopards additionally noticed some vital position gamers assist within the successful effort. Senior DeAndre Moye added 13 factors whereas junior ahead Dorian McGhee factored in 12 factors as he noticed some key minutes within the second half.

“Everyone was concerned,” Thomas mentioned. “You may see our bench gamers become involved. McGhee, our massive, acquired concerned. We had been on a roll and when everybody’s touching it, no person is messing with us.”

With the win, Lincoln Park makes its return to the Petersen Occasion Middle after lacking out on the 4A title recreation a 12 months in the past. The Leopards will face long-standing rival North Catholic within the championship recreation after caring for the Trojans twice this season, each by double digit margins. 

“We acquired to verify we focus, we acquired to be locked in and we acquired to observe movie,” Thomas mentioned “We’ve got to go over all the things from the primary two occasions we performed them.”

The journey again to the Pete to tackle North Catholic marks the fifth time these groups have confronted off within the title recreation in seven years. Even with the momentum from Lincoln Park’s highly effective efficiency in opposition to Highlands and the common season outcomes in opposition to the Trojans earlier this 12 months, Bariski is just not taking them calmly.

“North Catholic is an especially troublesome crew to defend,” he mentioned. “They play a really totally different form of high-tempo, big-time faculty, NBA form of offense. They need to shoot threes they usually’ll allow you to rating too.”

Lincoln Park and North Catholic will tip-off for the WPIAL 4A Championship recreation at 9:00 p.m. on Friday.

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Pitt Dominates Harvard, 17-7, To Win Weekend Collection



The Panthers capped their weekend sequence towards Harvard on Sunday afternoon with a dominating 17-7 win. As they did on Saturday afternoon, the Panthers have been hitting every thing, recording 16 hits off Harvard’s pitching rotation. Designated hitter Jack Anderson led Pitt with 4 hits and a four-run homer. Catcher Jayden Melendez additionally had a solo shot and three RBIs.The Panthers rating 44 runs, go 3-1 versus Harvard this weekend in Florida.

Harvard first baseman Logan Bravo bought issues began for the Crimson by hitting a single to heart subject to knock in a run. Bravo was then introduced residence after a double by Chris Snopek. And identical to that, Harvard led 2-0. The Crimson prolonged their result in 3-0 earlier than Pitt pitcher Erubiel Candelario retired the facet.

The Panthers answered within the backside of the third with two runs to make it a one-run sport at 3-2. First baseman Noah Martinez flied out to heart subject to convey CJ Duff residence and Anderdson singled up the center for the opposite run.

The Panthers’ bats have been on hearth within the backside of the fourth as Duff doubled to left heart to usher in two runs and Anderson hit a four-run homer to left heart to provide Pitt a 8-3 benefit. Pitt continued to pour it on within the backside of the fifth, as Duff recorded his second RBI of the sport with a double to proper subject to usher in a run. Martinez then singled to proper subject to convey Duff residence and Nessler adopted with a double to proper heart so as to add one other two runs. The Panthers weren’t performed but as centerfielder Dom Popa singled up the center to advance Nessler to residence plate and Melendez doubled to heart subject to usher in two extra runs and enhance their result in 15-2. In two innings, Pitt scored a whopping 13 runs.

Harvard battled again and scored 4 runs within the backside of the sixth. Pitt righty Jonathan Bautista gave up a two-run shot and a solo homer. Matt Giberti singled to heart subject to conclude the Crimson’s scoring surge to chop Pitt’s result in 15-7. Pitt put the ending touches on Harvard within the backside of the eighth with a house run by Melendez and a run through a fielding error.

The Panthers return to Pittsburgh for his or her residence opener towards Bucknell on Tuesday, Feb. 28. First pitch from Charles L. Value Area is at 3 p.m.

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