The baseball team played a home series against Missouri Southern. The Gorillas took game one on Friday, April 23 (3-2) then secured victories in games two and three on Saturday, April 24 (4-3, 8-7).
“Well, I mean we played really well,” said Head Coach Bob Fornelli. “That team was… ranked 19th in the country and we won three one-run games. So, really proud of how we came out and played.”
Aaron Gerdes, sophomore in finance, also thought the team played well.
“I think, as a team.., we played really well,” Gerdes said. “It was actually some of the best baseball that we’ve played all year… Missouri Southern was a good baseball team and we really faced some adversity coming off a weekend win against Newman and we knew that Missouri Southern had some good… (pitchers). We just stuck with our plan and pushed through it and ended up playing some really good baseball this weekend. So, we got the series which was awesome.”
Caleb Carr, masters student in health, human performance, and recreation, said that the team played well in this series.
“This was one of our better series of the year,” Carr said. “Missouri Southern is an extremely good program and our guys came out knowing we had a good chance of winning.”
In game one, Carr had a one-out double in the bottom of the 13th which scored Brett Daley from first base. Ryan Koval led off the inning with a single. The Gorillas plated a run in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. Gerdes doubled home with the tying run. David Henderson allowed two runs in 7.7 innings. Tanner Lane worked four innings of one-hit relief. Justin Root pitched the final 1.3 innings to earn the win.
In game two, Garret McGowan’s solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score 3-3. Daley delivered a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to break a 3-3 tie and secure the Gorillas’ victory. Cruz Aranda went two-for-four with one run scored and one RBI.
In game three, the Gorillas started off with a 3-2 lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the fifth. Gerdes led the offense and went three-for-four with two runs, a home run, and three RBIs. Gerdes, McGowan, and Pomeroy each homered. Peyton Ingalls worked six innings. In the seventh, MSSU cut down the Gorillas’ lead. Pomeroy picked up a save by recording the last seven outs to shutout MSSU.
“Aaron Gerdes was really good offensively all weekend,” Fornelli said. “Our pitching staff really threw well starting with Dave Henderson, Zach Curry was really good, (and) Peyton Ingalls was good. Dawson Pomeroy was really good for us out of the bullpen. He got a save and a win.”
With the series sweep, Pitt State is now tied for third place in the MIAA with MSSU.
“I got to give it to our pitchers… David Henderson.., Zach Curry, and… Peyton Ingalls,” Gerdes said. “They all threw awesome. They kept us in game the whole time. They didn’t put any pressure on our hitters… and… (they) gave our hitters an opportunity to come through and make some big things happen at the plate and win a game.”
Several players also stood out to Carr.
“Brett Daley had a good day for us Saturday scoring the tying and go-ahead run in the first game and then the walk-off homerun the second game. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to walk it off in the first game which was really cool. Aaron Gerdes also had a really good weekend at the plate. Pitching wise our entire staff did extremely well. We knew game… (one) runs were going to be hard to come by and David Henderson kept Southern to only… (two) runs. Tanner Lane kept us in the game late throwing four innings (and) only allowing one run. Dawson Pomeroy threw… (three) scoreless in games two and three combined which was huge for our team late.”
Next up for the baseball Gorillas is a road series against Missouri Western in St. Joseph, Mo. Game one is on Friday, April 30. Games two and three are on Saturday, May 1. Following that series, the Gorillas will play Oklahoma Baptist on Tuesday, May 4 in Shawnee, Okla.
“Well, this weekend we just got to continue to play hard, continue to compete,” Fornelli said. “We have six conference games left and we need to go play well each and every day.”