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Pitt baseball has chance to rebound and regroup with break in the schedule

The Pitt baseball team has been taking a beating lately. After sweeping Virginia Tech and taking a series against Duke, the team has struggled for the most part. A win this weekend over No. 3 North Carolina helped lessen the blow a little, but the Panthers are still 3-8 in their last 11 games. Fortunately, with 16 games left in the regular season, there's still time to rebound.

The Panthers not only have many games left, but a bunch of very winnable ones.

First, they'll play three games against SIU Edwardsville, who is only 17-22 on the year. After that are two games against woeful (8-30) Maryland Eastern Shore.

The Panthers do get back to ACC play following those two games but they will play a three-game set against a beatable Georgia Tech team that is currently in the basement of the Coastal Division. Next is a single mid-week game against 11-27 Youngstown State.

Things don't even get too much more difficult after that with three games against .500 North Carolina State. Pitt wraps up the season by facing West Virginia and with a three-game series against a good Wake Forest team.

With regards to the quest for .500, something I outlined as a significant step for the program before the year began, these next five games are absolutely critical. Pitt really needs to take no fewer than four of those next five to have a shot at it, in my opinion. That would get them to .500 and the team would have a fighting chance to win series' against Georgia Tech and North Carolina State.

The schedule is much easier from here on out. Now the Panthers need to capitalize.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Serena Williams responds to Ilie Nastase's comments on her unborn child

Serena Williams has responded to comments about her unborn child that were made by retired tennis pro Ilie Nastase on Saturday at a news conference ahead of  the Romania Fed Cup playoff against Great Britain, according to ESPN.

>> Read more trending news

Nastase, who is the captain of the Romania team, reportedly made a comment in Romanian that was clearly audible to other players about Williams’ pregnancy, which she announced Wednesday.

"Let's see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?” Nastase, who was not asked to comment about Williams, said.

Williams, who is black, is expecting her first child with fiance and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who is white.

Related: Ilie Nastase under fire for comment about Serena Williams

The International Tennis Federation is investigating and said the following in a statement:

The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behaviour of any kind. We are aware of alleged comments made by Romanian captain Ilie Nastase and have begun an immediate investigation so that we have the full facts of the situation before taking further and appropriate action.

Earlier in the month, Nastase also made claims that Williams had been doping, basing the remark soley on her physique. 

Williams responded to the comments about her unborn child in a statement posted on Instagram, saying, “It disappoints me to know that we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers.”

“I have said it once and I’ll say it again, this world has come so far but yet we have so much further to go. Yes, we have broken down so many barriers, however, there are a plethora more to go. This or anything else will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything I do,” Williams wrote. “I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what’s right. I am not afraid, unlike you. You see, I am no coward.”

Williams also expressed support for the ITF’s investigation into Nastase.

Read Williams’ full statement below:

Pitt NFL Draft Projections: Nathan Peterman

With the NFL Draft practically here, I wanted to take some snapshot looks at Pitt players with the best chances of being drafted. Given that, you can now fully expect someone to be snagged in a late round that I don't cover.

First up is arguably the guy that will go the highest - quarterback Nathan Peterman. Peterman really went from an off-the-radar guy to someone that skyrocketed up draft boards. What he accomplished last year will do that, though. After a season in which he competed with Chad Voytik for time, Peterman had a great year with 27 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, while throwing for nearly 3,000 yards. When you consider that he didn't even have Tyler Boyd anymore, it was really a strong year.

At 6'2", Peterman doesn't have great size. But what he did on the field last year and his readiness (Jon Gruden recently called him the most pro-ready starter) have GMs apparently very high on him. Many reports have Peterman as a 2nd to 3rd round pick.

Where do you think he lands?

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.
Poll Where will Nathan Peterman be drafted? 1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round 4th Round 5th Round 6th/7th Round or Undrafted   8 votes | Results

Pitt baseball loses series, but takes game from No. 3 North Carolina

The Pitt baseball team lost their series with the No. 3 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels this weekend. But the Panthers managed to win a game on Sunday, taking the finale, 11-9.

The 1-2 record over the weekend pushes the Panthers to 17-20 on the year. But the victory over a top three team is another significant one for the program.

Pitt has had trouble putting it all together in the ACC, but the program has scored some nice wins in the past few seasons. Most notably, they took a game from No. 1 Virginia in 2015. This is another strong win in their belts, so that's significant.

Hopefully the win gives the team a little momentum since they've really been struggling lately. They were swept by Virginia earlier this month then lost two games in a three-game set against Miami. After the mid-week Penn State win, they dropped the first two games against Carolina before winning the third.

16 games remain in the regular season.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Pitt softball wins series with North Carolina State

The Panthers' softball team continued its up and down year by winning its most recent series against North Carolina State, taking two out of three games this weekend.

Wins over the Wolfpack helped the team rebound from a pretty ugly five-game slide of being swept by Syracuse, losing to Ohio State, and dropping the first game of the North Carolina State series on Friday. Pitt's victory on Sunday to clinch the series was in dramatic fashion with the team getting an extra-inning, walk-off home run from Kaitlyn Kruger.

The series got the Panthers up to 23-21 and Pitt will finish the regular season on the road with a series against Georgia Tech this weekend. The ACC Tournament gets underway on May 11th.

It's definitely been a bit of a down year for the team given expectations. They were quickly ranked at the beginning of this season and then moved into the Top 20. They began to slide, though, with losses to Troy and Lipscomb and were then swept by North Carolina in their first ACC series of the year. Since then, it's been a back and forth battle for the team.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

High school football star practicing with ankle monitor, booted from practice

A South Florida high school student, who is facing a felony charge, will not be allowed to take part in spring football practice while wearing an ankle monitor after school officials read a newspaper story about it online.

A judge’s order had allowed Shelley Singletary to participate in spring practices, as well as attend classes at Boca Raton High School, and the 18-year-old apparently was set to practice Monday in the team’s first season practice.

>> Read more trending news

But hours after a story on Singletary was published, Boca Raton High principal Susie King informed the school’s football staff that Singletary could not take part in any team functions until his criminal court case is resolved.

School officials apparently were not aware that Singletary had been cleared to practice until they read the story by the Palm Beach Post.

>> Related: Father of NFL hopeful killed in south Florida

Singletary, 18, is accused of a robbery in January during which he allegedly forcibly removed an 11-year-old’s Air Jordan sneakers and tried to steal his bicycle.

Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer modified the terms of Singletary’s house arrest on March 16 allowing him to practice, but only if he wears an ankle monitor.

“The student has been cleared by a judge to participate in activities,” according to a statement released by the Palm Beach County School District. “However, he has not been cleared by Boca Raton Community High School to practice or be part of the school’s football team. At this time, he is in no way affiliated with the team or the spring season.”

Singletary, who will be a junior in the next school year, will be allowed to continue attending classes.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

Singletary, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound running back and defensive back, is ranked by MaxPreps, a college football recruiting website, as the state’s No. 193 prospect.

The University of Kentucky has reportedly offered Singletary a football scholarship for 2018, according to 24/7 Sports, but NCAA rules prohibit schools from publicly discussing recruits until they sign letters of intent.

Singletary could not be reached for comment.

Court records show that his next court appearance is scheduled for June 19.

Marathon Competitor Helps Fellow Runner Cross Finish Line

Marathon Competitor Helps Fellow Runner Cross Finish Line

2017 NFL Draft: Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman ranked as Panthers' highest-rated prospect, per ESPN

The NFL Draft is fast approaching and, similar to what quarterback Tom Savage did a few years back, signal-caller Nathan Peterman is making a pretty steep rise up NFL Draft boards.

Peterman was mostly a bust at Tennessee and his NFL Draft stock didn't look too promising when he came to Pitt. But he really developed over the past two years and with some success, has catapulted himself into the draft discussion for quarterbacks.

ESPN.com recently put together a list of their top 100 prospects and it was Peterman who is the Panthers' highest-rated player. Checking in at No. 63, they essentially have him as a fringe second-round pick right now. The only other Panther on the board is Dorian Johnson, who is at No. 94.

Two other Pitt guys that should be selected are running back James Conner and tackle Adam Bisnowaty. Conner, of course, is the only early entrant in that group.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Father of NFL hopeful killed in South Florida

The father of NFL hopeful and Florida State University star Travis Rudolph was killed this weekend in an accidental shooting, according to reports from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Darryl Rudolph was shot Saturday morning while he was doing repair work at Sugar Daddy’s Adult Cabaret on Military Trail, south of Southern Boulevard.

>> Read more trending news

Officials say Rudolph, 55, was working in the back storage room of the club at about 9:30 a.m. The club hired him to do odd jobs, mainly repair work, the sheriff’s office said.

A coworker was in an adjacent room moving a firearm off a shelf. The gun discharged and fired a bullet through a wall and into Rudolph’s neck/back area. He was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center where he died.

An initial investigation deemed the shooting accidental. The sheriff’s office stressed the investigation is active and ongoing. It is unclear who owned the gun or whether anyone will face charges in the shooting.

Sugar Daddy’s has been the backdrop — both directly and indirectly — of numerous gun-related incidents.

Greg Bryant, the former standout football player at American Heritage, spent his final hours alive at Sugar Daddy’s nearly a year ago. The 21-year-old was heading home to Delray Beach after a night watching his musician friends perform at the suburban West Palm club. He was fatally shot May 7 on Interstate 95.

No one has been arrested in Bryant’s death.

Travis Rudolph, a West Palm Beach native and Cardinal Newman High School graduate, made national headlines last summer when he ate with a middle school student with autism who was sitting alone. The wide receiver and his Seminoles teammates were visiting the student’s Tallahassee middle school.

As a junior in 2016, Rudolph led the Seminoles in receptions (56), receiving yards (840) and receiving touchdowns (seven). He left Florida State a year early but still managed to sneak into the university’s all-time top 10 in receptions (153) and receiving yards (2,311).

In March, Rudolph told The Post he was happy with his decision to enter the NFL draft early. He had private workouts with the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins planned for April.

Competitor helps fellow runner complete London Marathon

LONDON -- A competitor at the London Marathon exhibited some fine sportsmanship Sunday by helping a fellow runner cross the finish line, the BBC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Matthew Rees put his arm around David Wyeth, who was struggling to reach the finish line, and guided him the final 150 yards to finish the race.

The pair were cheered home by Princes William and Harry and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

Former marathon winner and BBC commentator Tanni Grey Thompson tweeted: "Matthew Rees refuses to give up helping David Wyeth across the line. Wow."

London Marathon tweeted: "Matthew Rees, you've just encompassed everything that's so special about the #LondonMarathon. We salute you.”

In Sunday’s race, Kenya’s Mary Keitany broke Paula Radcliffe's women-only marathon world record her third victory in London, while Daniel Wanjiru won the men's race for the first time. 

Keitany, 35, completed the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 17 minutes, 1 second, beating Radcliffe's 12-year-old mark by 41 seconds.

Wanjiru, 24, won his first major marathon in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 48 seconds.

A total of 39,487 runners finished the race, making it the biggest in its 37-year history, according to the London Marathon website.

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