Pittsburgh Panthers baseball

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Pittsburgh Panthers baseball
Founded: 1869
Pittsburgh Panthers baseball athletic logo

University University of Pittsburgh
Conference ACC
Location Pittsburgh, PA
Head Coach Joe Jordano (17th year)
Home Stadium Charles L. Cost Field
in the Petersen Sports Complex
(Capacity: 900)
Nickname Panthers
Colors

Blue and Gold

            
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1959, 1965, 1995
Conference Tournament Champions
1995
Conference Champions
1994

Pittsburgh Panthers baseball is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate baseball program of the University of Pittsburgh, often referred to as "Pitt", located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pitt baseball team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference and plays their home games at Charles L. Cost Field in the Petersen Sports Complex. It is the university's oldest recorded sport, dating to 1869. Prior to joining the ACC in 2013-14, Pitt had won both the Big East Conference regular season and Big East Tournament championships. The Panthers have also received four First Team All-American selections, and have appeared in three NCAA championships. 43 Panthers have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. Joe Jordano has been the head coach of Pitt baseball since 1998.

History[edit]

Pitt baseball circa the 1890s when the school was known as the Western University of Pennsylvania. The players are posing in front of Main Hall when the campus was located on Observatory Hill on Pittsburgh's North Side.

Baseball has been called "the first game of consequence played at the University."[1] The first recorded game was a 21–20, five-inning win over the Eckfords of East Liberty in 1869. The team went undefeated until it lost to a high school team in 1870. Although early records are sparse and incomplete, baseball at the university continued to be played against nearby college teams, although sometimes with irregular schedules, throughout the end of the 19th Century, as well as at the intramural level.[1] The student yearbook, The Owl, noted that teams fielded between the years of 1888 to 1894 were especially successful.[2] However, according to the student yearbook, in the early 20th century interest in college baseball at Pitt waned due to a lack of a proper field, strictness of eligibility rules, irregularity of schedules, and the rise of football as the dominant school sport.[1] Pitt did not field a baseball team from 1918 to 1920, although the program was briefly resurrected under coach Dick Harley for four seasons which were highlighted by the play of future Major League Baseball pitcher Steve Swetonic, before the program again disappeared from 1925 to 1938.[3] The program was reestablished in 1939 under coach Ralph Mitterling who led the team for 16 seasons and guided players such as future Major League pitcher Russ Kemmerer.[4]

In 1955, legendary Pitt baseball coach Bobby Lewis took control of the program. Lewis, who is one of two Panthers to have his baseball jersey retired by the school, led the team for 36 seasons until his retirement in 1990.[4] During his tenure, Pitt went 438–389, garnering Lewis the most wins of any coach in Pitt athletics history to that point.[5] Under Lewis, Pitt appeared in the NCAA baseball championship twice, and finished ranked 27th in the final 1967 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll.[6] Lewis coached All-Americans George Schoeppner and Fred Mazurek, future long-time Major League professionals Doc Medich and Ken Macha, as well as other notable athletes such as Mike Ditka and Joe Walton.[5][7]

The new baseball stadium in the Petersen Sports Complex nearing completion in late October, 2010

Mark Jackson took over for Bobby Lewis in 1991 and quickly turned the Panthers into a contender in the Big East Conference, in which Pitt had begun competing in 1985. Jackson led the Panthers to a regular season Big East title in 1994, earning Big East Coach of the Year honors, and went on to win the 1995 Big East Conference Baseball Tournament, thus earning a bid to the NCAA Championship and finishing the season ranked 28th in the final Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll.[8][9] His teams posted five winning seasons out of seven years at the helm, including three 30 or more-win seasons.[4] Notable players for Jackson include Jason Conti, who went on to play for five seasons in the Major Leagues, and Josh Tyler who won the 1994 Big East Player of the Year award.

One of the most successful eras of Pitt baseball began with the hiring of Joe Jordano as coach on November 15, 1997.[10] Since coming to Pittsburgh, Jordano has had 30 players taken in the Major League Baseball Draft, 45 of his players sign professional contracts, and 36 All-Big East players.[11] Since 2000, Jordano's teams have produced eight All-Americans, 19 All-region selections, six 30-win seasons, and six Big East Baseball Tournament appearances. Jordano earned the Big East Coach of the Year award in 2004 following a 38–18 season in which Pitt finished second in the conference standings.[12] In 2010, Pitt went 38-18 and appeared in the Top 25 polls of both Collegiate Baseball Newspaper[13] and Baseball America[14] for the first time in its history, earning Jordano the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) East Region Coach of the Year award[15] and the Chuck Tanner Collegiate Baseball Manager of the Year Award.[16] On March 2, 2012, Jordano surpassed former head coach Bobby Lewis to became Pitt baseball's all-time wins leader when he earned his 403rd career victory, a 3-1 win at Coastal Carolina.[17][18]

In 2011, the program moved into a new facility, Charles L. Cost Field, in the Petersen Sports Complex, from its old facility, Trees Field.[19] The new facilities helped to prompt Rivals.com to name Pitt as one of "college baseball's rising programs" heading into the 2011 season.[20] In the 2013 season, Pitt's last in the Big East Conference, the team set a record for the most wins in a single season (42)[21] and became nationally ranked in the Top 25 of all five major college baseball polls for the first time in program history, including climbing as high as #16 in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.[22] Pitt moved into the Atlantic Coast Conference on July 1, 2013.[23]

All-Americans[edit]

Pitt has had nine different players selected as All-Americans, including four first team selections. In addition, two Panthers have been selected as Freshman All-Americans,[24][25][26] and five players have been selected as an Academic All-Americans.[27][28]

All-East[edit]

Pitt has had 31 All-East selections over its history,[24][11][29][30][31] and one coach, Joe Jordano, was named the ABCA East Region Coach of the Year in 2010.[15]

Big East honors[edit]

Pitt has receive 69 All-Big East selections[36] along with conference player, pitcher, rookie, and coach of the year awards.[8][11] In addition, 36 Pitt players have garnered All-Big East Academic Awards and the team earned the Most Improved Team GPA award in 2008.[10]

Major League Baseball[edit]

Pitt has had 44 Major League Baseball Draft selections since the draft began in 1965. Since 1940, 85 total players that have been drafted or signed to professional contracts, including 49 since 2000.[24][37][38][39]

Manager Ken Macha (center) played college baseball at Pitt
Jason Conti spent five years in the Majors with the Diamondbacks, Rays, Brewers, and Rangers
Right-handed pitcher Pete Parise went undrafted but is currently St. Louis Cardinals system where he was named the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds 2009 Reliever of the Year[40]
Panthers in the Major League Baseball Draft 
Year Player Round Team
1970 Medich George George Medich 30 Yankees
1972 Macha KenKen Macha 6 Pirates
1981 Lachowicz AllenAllen Lachowicz 1 Rangers
1985 Jelic ChrisChris Jelic 2 Royals
1986 Stennett MattMatt Stennett 11 Astros
1986 Scales ChuckChuck Scales 25 Royals
1987 Westwood DavidDavid Westwood 11 Giants
1988 Merigliano FrankFrank Merigliano 16 White Sox
1989 Dickerson DarnellDarnell Dickerson 28 Royals
1993 Sumner DavidDavid Sumner 41 Blue Jays
1994 Tyler JoshJosh Tyler 24 Brewers
1994 Dinyar EricEric Dinyar 48 Tigers
1996 Conti JasonJason Conti 32 Diamondbacks
1999 Melucci LouLou Melucci 26 Expos
2000 Lydic JoeJoe Lydic 7 Astros
2000 Coughenour JoryJory Coughenour 20 Astros
2002 Colamarino BrantBrant Colamarino 7 Athletics
2002 Ackerman EricEric Ackerman 16 Royals
2004 Evangelista NickNick Evangelista 26 Phillies
2004 Hiser P.J.P.J. Hiser 29 Indians
2004 Gornati T.J.T.J. Gornati 44 Giants
2005 Copeland BenBen Copeland 4 Giants
2006 Negrych JimJim Negrych 6 Pirates
2006 Muldowney BillBill Muldowney 8 Cubs
2006 Mayer JimmyJimmy Mayer 30 Devil Rays
2007 Landis KyleKyle Landis 18 Indians
2007 Nardozzi PaulPaul Nardozzi 31 Tigers
2009 Sedon ChrisChris Sedon 10 Tigers
2009 Reed NateNate Reed 20 White Sox
2010 Joe LeonardJoe Leonard 3 Braves
2010 Cory BrownstenCory Brownsten 15 Braves
2010 Danny LopezDanny Lopez 17 Mariners
2011 Kevan SmithKevan Smith 7 White Sox
2011 Raymond BlackRaymond Black 7 Giants
2011 David ChesterDavid Chester 33 Red Sox
2011 John SchultzJohn Schultz 34 Marlins
2011 Travis WhitmoreTravis Whitmore 35 Padres
2011 Corey BakerCorey Baker 49 Cardinals
2013 Ethan MildrenEthan Mildren 12 Twins
2013 Elvin SotoElvin Soto 16 Diamondbacks
2013 Matt WotherspoonMatt Wotherspoon 20 Tigers
2014 Luke CurtisLuke Curtis 18 Brewers
2014 Joseph HarveyJoseph Harvey 19 Yankees
2014 Matt Wotherspoon Matt Wotherspoon 34 Yankees

Other Pitt players that had Major League careers include Steve Swetonic, Robert Malloy, Russ Kemmerer, and Jason Rakers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The "University Nine" Defeats the "Eckfords"-1869". The Owl (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh): 222. 1937. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  2. ^ The Owl. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. 1910. p. 123. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  3. ^ The Owl. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. 1926. p. 347. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  4. ^ a b c Rupert, Lauren; Nestor, Mendy, eds. (2010). Pitt Baseball 2010 Media Guide. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. p. 47. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  5. ^ a b Jayes, Paul (1990-06-28). "Pitt's Bobby Lewis: It will be tough filling his shoes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  6. ^ 2010 NCAA Division I Baseball Records Book. NCAA. 2010. p. 38. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  7. ^ Jayes, Paul (1983-05-18). "'Other' Pitt coach already a legend". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved 2010-05-19. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b Rupert, Lauren; Nestor, Mendy, eds. (2010). Pitt Baseball 2010 Media Guide. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. p. 50. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  9. ^ 2010 NCAA Division I Baseball Records Book. NCAA. 2010. p. 40. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  10. ^ a b Rupert, Lauren; Nestor, Mendy, eds. (2010). Pitt Baseball 2010 Media Guide. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. pp. 6–7. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  11. ^ a b c "Pitt Baseball: The Jordano Era". PittsburghPanthers.com. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ Rupert, Lauren; Nestor, Mendy, eds. (2010). Pitt Baseball 2010 Media Guide. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  13. ^ "Arizona State No. 1 In Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll". College Baseball Newspaper. 2010-03-29. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ "College Top 25: May 10". Baseball America. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  15. ^ a b "Jordano Named ABCA East Region Coach of the Year". Pittsburgh, PA: PittsburghPanthers.com. 2010-07-14. Retrieved 2010-07-14. 
  16. ^ "Pitt Baseball's Joe Jordano Named Chuck Tanner Collegiate Baseball Manager of the Year". PittsburghPanthers.com. 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  17. ^ "Joe Jordano Becomes Pitt Baseball's All-Time Wins Leader". PittsburghPanthers.com. 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  18. ^ Mackey, Jason (2012-03-09). "Pitt baseball coach Jordano is embracing some new challenges". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  19. ^ Fittipaldo, Ray (2010-05-20). "Pitt's time at Trees Field coming to an end". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  20. ^ Rogers, Kendall (2010-11-04). "Rising programs helping conferences succeed". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  21. ^ Harris, John (May 13, 2013). "Harris: Pitt coach Jordano talks more than a good game". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Pitt Baseball Ranked in All Five Major Polls". PittsburghPanthers.com. May 13, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  23. ^ Fittipaldo, Ray (July 18, 2012). "Pitt's move to the Atlantic Coast Conference is now official". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh). Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c Rupert, Lauren; Nestor, Mendy, eds. (2010). Pitt Baseball 2010 Media Guide. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. p. 49. Retrieved 2010-05-19. 
  25. ^ 2010 NCAA Division I Baseball Records Book. NCAA. 2010. pp. 8–9. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  26. ^ "Casey Roche Named a NCBWA All-American". PittsburghPanthers.com. June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  27. ^ CoSIDA Academic All-American All-Time List (by School), College Sports Information Directors of America, 2012-03-08, pp. 352–353, retrieved 2012-06-02 
  28. ^ "DeFabio Selected to the Academic All-American Second Team". PittsburghPanthers.com. 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  29. ^ "Panthers Named To East Region Teams". PittsburghPanthers.com. 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2010-06-23. 
  30. ^ "Chester, Smith Named to ABCA All-East Region Teams". PittsburghPanthers.com. 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  31. ^ a b c d e "Four Panthers Earn Rawlings/ABCA All-Region Honors". PittsburghPanthers.com. June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Internet Archive: 2003 ABCA & NCAA Division I All-Region". American Baseball Coaches Association. 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-08-11. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  33. ^ "Internet Archive: 2006 ABCA & Rawlings NCAA Division I All-Region" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). American Baseball Coaches Association. 2006-07-21. Archived from the original on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  34. ^ a b "2011 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA I All-East Region". American Baseball Coaches Association. 2011-06-23. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  35. ^ "2012 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division I All-East Region Teams". American Baseball Coaches Association. 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  36. ^ Magnoli, Chris (2012). 2012 Big East Baseball Media Guide. Big East Conference. p. 56. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  37. ^ Grupp, John (2011-06-09). "Seven local players taken on final day of MLB draft". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  38. ^ "Panthers in the Pros". PittsburghPanthers.com. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  39. ^ "Matt Wotherspoon Drafted by Detroit Tigers". PittsburghPanthers.com. June 8, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Former Pitt Baseball Player Pete Parise Named Memphis Redbirds 2009 Reliever of the Year". PittsburghPanthers.com. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 

External links[edit]