I should say from the outset that I do know the answer to this question, because I have just researched it. But it is so interesting that I felt it was worth an airing.
I am not clear if it is 'off-topic' to ask a question to which one knows the answer, but if it is I have no doubt whatever that someone will say so.
In baseball a 'pitcher' throws a very similar ball to a cricket ball directly at the batsman (if that is what he is called). The ball does not strike the ground first. Yet he 'pitches'.
In cricket a bowler delivers a ball at a wicket by first making it strike the ground somewhere in front of the batsman. (It doesn't have to strike the ground. If it hits the wicket without doing so the batsman is said to have been 'yorked').
But 'pitching' refers to the ball striking the ground (the pitch). We talk about short-pitched and long-pitched deliveries, of balls that pitch on the leg stump, or outside the offstump etc.
It long puzzled me why the person delivering a baseball was called a 'pitcher', because the ball does not 'pitch'. But now I know the answer. Does anyone else?
Edit. I should add that the word is also used in golf, with the same meaning that it has in cricket.