Sorell’s slings help shut out Southern
Michael Admire Sports Writer
Senior Ryan Sorell pitched seven complete innings, giving up only four hits and striking out four batters to secure his first win of the season.
Weather showed signs of spring Wednesday, but the heavy wind blowing out to left posed a potential problem for the pitchers.
“I think the wind helped me out today,” Sorell said.
Sorell was throwing his sinker very well, which he partially credited to the heavy gusts, forcing Southern into 10 groundouts. He also got help by Pitt State’s offense when it had two three-run innings. Taylor Sibala, Ryan Reddick and Jeremy Graves all have two runs-batted-in (RBIs) apiece, leading Pittsburg State University to victory over Missouri Southern, 6-0.
“Southern is always a big series, especially for Pitt,” Sorell said. “(We) came out here fired up.”
The game was scoreless through two and a half innings until Sibala’s sacrifice fly put the Gorillas on the board. Jeremy Graves then followed Sibala with a two-run homerun.
While Sorell was cruising on the mound, the rest of the Gorillas gave him a few insurance runs in the home half of the fifth inning. Sibala tripled to drive in a run, and he later scored on a single.
Pitt State got the best of the rival Lions in the first game on the shoulder of Sorell’s shutout performance. Missouri Southern did not let its bats sleep for long. It only took a few hitters for the Lions to jump on the Gorillas in the second game.
Missouri Southern’s C.J. Matthews belted a three-run homerun in the top of the first to cap off a five-run, four- hit first inning. A pair of Gorilla errors opened the gate for the Lions to get off to the hot start. By game’s end, Pitt State had racked up four errors.
“So frustrating,” said head coach Steve Bever on the difference between the two games. “I hope defensively that’s the low point of the year.”
Several Gorillas struggled in the field, and after the visitors’ half of the second inning, Pitt State found itself down 8-2. Pitt found its offense and battled back to tie the game at eight in the bottom of the third. Ryan Bilovesky made a great defensive play in the top of the inning, followed by sparking a rally in the bottom half.
Brian Dean drove in a run and Jeremy Graves later followed with an RBI of his own. Chase Barnes then doubled and drove in two runs to tie up the game at eight.
Pitt State’s offense then stifled and Missouri Southern rolled away with the victory, adding another nine runs including a two-run Tee Helsel homerun in the top of the fifth.
“Guys have to understand that having a nice 6-0 win has nothing to do with game two,” Bever said.
The Gorillas threatened with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, but Sibala and Jeremy Graves were both retired. Missouri Southern took the last game, 17-10, bringing the Gorillas’ record to 6-7 (3-7 MIAA).
“I see a lot of good things,” Bever said. “We’re not going to hang our heads on a two-game split.”