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ACC Midterm Grades: Pitt

Updated: Apr 16

Picture Courtesy of Pittsburgh Athletics

It is past the halfway mark in the ACC conference slate which means it's time for midterm grades to go out on all 14 ACC teams. We start with the Pittsburgh Panthers, who currently sit 7th in the Coastal Division.

The Pitt Panthers got off to a stellar non-conference start with an 8-1 record that featured dominant run rule wins over the likes of Oklahoma and California. But conference play has not been as kind to Pitt as they've struggled to a 4-14 record to this point and are currently on the outside looking in for the ACC Tournament in Charlotte.

Offense: C+

Pitt's offense is better than it's been in years in large part thanks to the likes of Luke Cantwell, Jake Kendro, and Dom Popa. Cantwell is currently 5th in the ACC with a .510 OBP and second on the team with 7 home runs. Sophomore shortstop Kendro has blossomed as an everyday player. The former Tennessee Volunteer is hitting .300 and is third on the team with 6 home runs. Popa has often been the leadoff man for the Panthers and leads the team with a .320 average. Star catcher Jayden Melendez hasn't been the most consistent hitter at the plate thus far, but he is always a threat to go deep as evidenced by his team leading 10 home runs.

Rotation: D+

The numbers may not be great, but Pitt has stayed consistent with its weekend rotation all year. Ryan Andrade and Ryan Reed have occasionally shown flashes, but only Jack Sokol on Saturdays has been consistent. The veteran righty is 3-2 on the year with a 5.64 ERA in 46.1 innings. With Andrade and Reed a combined 0-7 with an ERA near 8, it's only because of Sokol that the rotation grade is as high as it is.

Bullpen: C

The Pitt bullpen is led by CBC All Star Phil Fox, who has gone 3-2 on the year with a dazzling 1.50 ERA over 24 innings to this point. Matthew Fernandez and Ethan Firoved have been the two most used arms by Mike Bell out of the 'pen pitching 26.1 innings and 29.1 innings, respectively. Fernandez has been particularly good in relief with a 4.10 ERA and 2 wins. This three headed bullpen monster is more than enough to earn the Pitt bullpen a passing grade despite some lackluster numbers from other arms.

Overall: C-

This is a harsh grade for an underrated team, but unfortunately that 4-14 conference record is all that matters when it comes down to it. Close series losses at home to Boston College and Georgia Tech were missed opportunities as was what could've been a shocking upset in Blacksburg over Virginia Tech. The good news is that they still have matchups against Notre Dame and Miami. With the Canes just two games ahead of them in the standings, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Pitt Panthers could make it to Charlotte for the ACC Tournament after all.

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