Well – seasoned
Baseball coach surpasses 1,000th game
Michael Admire Sports Writer
Game after game for a record 21st season, Steve Bever has led the baseball team as its head coach. Last weekend, against Emporia State, Bever hit another milestone when he coached his 1,000th game, and yesterday the Gorillas added another victory to his 528 wins.
“What? I didn’t even know about it,” Bever said. “That’s where all this gray hair comes from. Dealing with college kids.”
Other than Bever’s 1,000th game, there was not much else for the Gorillas to rejoice about this past weekend. Eighth-ranked Emporia State Hornets swept Pitt State in a four-game series to extend their undefeated season to 7-0. Pitt State had leads in two of the losses, but big innings led Emporia State to victories.
“We knew it would be a tough weekend,” Bever said, “but we learned a lot about ourselves.”
Pitt State hoped to sweep the weekend away with a win on Tuesday, but rain forced the Gorillas to wait until yesterday. First pitch was at 2 p.m., but it took four innings for the first run to cross home plate.
Northeastern State was the first to break onto the scoreboard when Chad Davidson knocked in an RBI on a single to left. Later that inning, Davidson came around to score on Noah Ringenberger’s single to right.
Pitt State quickly answered with two of its own runs in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Reddick and Jeremy Filer both scored to tie the game up at two.
It was back and forth, as the Riverhawks added one in the fifth, then the Gorillas responded in the home half of the sixth. Northeastern State took a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh and that was the last time the Riverhawks saw the lead. Pittsburg State used two doubles and passed balls to add five runs in the bottom of the seventh. Nick Herarra closed out the game in the ninth, forcing three pop-outs and allowing only one hit.
Getting a win after a rough weekend was important for the Gorillas.
“Extremely important in ourselves and attitudes for us to believe in our ability,” said right fielder Jason Graves. “We need to take what we did today and against Emporia and bring them together.”
Fifteen seniors and 16 freshmen make up the mold of the team, so quickly ending the losing streak was a step in their development.
“It’s huge. You know we’re a young team,” Bever said. “There’s a lot of new players.
“We’re a team trying to find our identity.”
Graves added, “We need to get everyone comfortable in the lineup and continue to play solid defense.
The road ahead for Pitt State does not get any easier as it marches back into MIAA play. Over the weekend, University of Nebraska-Omaha will be in town. First pitch is at 1 p.m. Saturday, and then at noon Sunday.