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Virginia Baseball: Hoos travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers

Virginia looks to stay hot against the Pitt Panthers as they play their last three games of an eight game road trip.

Chris Chambers/Getty Images

The Cavaliers are riding high after taking two of three from Miami last weekend and up-ending Old Dominion at Harbor Park earlier this week. This weekend's ACC test comes in the form of taking on the Pitt Panthers in their second straight road series. 

The Panthers had a rough second season in the ACC in 2015 posting just a 9-21 record in the conference and 20-32 overall, missing the ACC tournament by four games. But with just three NCAA tournament appearances under their belt as a program, not many thought the Panthers would waltz into the conference and become a contender. 

Coach O'Connor has certainly enjoyed having Pitt in the Coastal Division. In the two years, the Cavaliers have gone 4-2, winning both series. The highlight of the six games is assuredly Nathan Kirby's no-hit shutout of the Panthers in Pittsburgh in 2014. 

This season has seen improvement from Pitt as they've almost matched their ACC win total from last year in just 17 games. They're currently 8-9 in conference with a series victory over Virginia Tech two weeks ago. That record puts them ahead of perennial powerhouses UNC and Clemson, and just a game behind UVa in the Coastal standings. Unfortunately for Pitt fans, while they've done fairly well so far, they have a murderer's row of series coming up against UVa this weekend, then back to back road series at Notre Dame and Miami. Yeesh. 

They're lead by sophomore shortstop Charles LeBlanc, who leads the team with a .423 average and .509 on base percentage. Not to mention, he also leads the team in runs (34) and RBI (38). D1baseball recently added him to their Top 25 shortstop power rankings.

On the mound, the Panthers are lead by TJ Zeuch whhose 5-0 record and 2.63 ERA have him in contention for ACC Pitcher of the Year. Likely more impressive is his 43-9 strikeout to walk ratio. Pitching around the plate is key for the Panthers to stay in games and Zeuch has done that for much of the season. 

It's somewhat of a quirky schedule this weekend. Instead of a normal Fri-Sun series, the two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday and finish up on Sunday.