Panthers welcome No. 1

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For the first time, Pitt will play host to the top college baseball team in Division I this weekend.

The Panthers will welcome Virginia to Charles L. Cost Field, and the Cavaliers are ranked in the top three in all five major college baseball polls and No. 1 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association poll.

In its first ACC season, Pitt (15-13, 7-5) is on a six-game winning streak after starting 1-5 in conference play. The Panthers’ past three wins came in a three-game home sweep of No. 23 Georgia Tech to move their record to 4-2 against ranked teams this season.

Virginia (24-4, 10-2) has cruised to first place in the ACC Coastal Division. The Cavaliers have succeeded mainly because of pitchers such as Connor James and Nathan Kirby, who rank first and second in the ACC with earned run averages of 0.88 and 1.24.

The Cavaliers’ team ERA of 2.11 is tops in the ACC.

Pitt, meanwhile, has been relying on its offense, continuing where it left off a year ago. The Panthers are fourth in the ACC with 171 runs this season, and outfielder Boo Vazquez is tied for the ACC lead with 30 RBIs. Vazquez also has five home runs.

The previous time Pitt played a No. 1 team, the Panthers, lost, 4-3, against Vanderbilt in 2007. Their most recent win against a top-5 team came in 2004 against Notre Dame.

The games Friday and Saturday will start at 3 p.m., and the first pitch Sunday is set for 1 p.m. Tickets are available online at, or by calling the Pitt ticket office at 1-800-643-PITT. Charles L. Cost Field is located on Robinson Street Extension as part of the Petersen Sports Complex.

Sam Werner: and Twitter @SWernerPG.

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