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Nine baseball players Earn All-MIAA Honors

Nine Gorillas earned All-MIAA honors this year.  

Dawson Pomery, infielder and junior in recreation service, sport and hospitality management, earned first-team All-MIAA honors.  

Mason Hartman, infielder and junior in construction management, and Aaron Gerdes, outfielder and sophomore in finance, were named to the third-team All-MIAA squad.  

David Henderson, pitcher and recent graduate, and Ryan Koval, outfielder and freshman in criminal justice, garnered second-team All-MIAA accolades.  

Additionally, Cruz Aranda, infielder and junior in construction management, Peyton Ingalls, pitcher and junior in recreation service, sport and hospitality management, Garrett McGowan,  first baseman and junior in communication, Justin Root, pitcher and junior in architectural manufacturing management, all received honorable mention All-MIAA recognition.  

“It was definitely a good feeling,” Koval said. “There’s a lot of talent this week so to get recognized for that— it was obviously a goal I had at the beginning of the year. So, it was rewarding.”  

Henderson recently graduated with a business administration degree.  

“I mean it feels good but to be honest I didn’t really perform as well as I would have liked to,” Henderson said. “I mean it’s cool but getting second-team gives me something even more to strive for next year.”  

The Gorillas sweeped a series against the Missouri Southern State University Lions earlier in the season. The first two games of the series were played on Saturday, Apr. 24 and the Gorillas won both games, which was one of Koval’s favorite moments from this past season.  

“Without a doubt (it) was the two games that we had walk-off wins against Missouri Southern,” Koval said. “…Both of those games were really fun and exciting and I don’t think anything is going to beat that this year.” 

One of Henderson’s favorite moments came earlier in the season.  

“…I’d say our first sweep of the year was one of my favorite moments..,” Henderson said. “That was kind of a turning point for our team and got us headed in the right direction.”  

In the first round of the MIAA tournament, the Gorillas battled the Washburn Ichabods in a home series at Al Ortolani Field. The Gorillas lost the first game on Friday, May 14 (3-5) but came back on Saturday, May 15 to take game two (8-5). The Gorillas won the series on Sunday, May 15 by winning the third game (9-7) and secured their advancement in the MIAA tournament.  

The MIAA Championship was held in Joplin at the Warren Turner Field.  

The Gorillas played Central Missouri on Thursday, May 20 but couldn’t pull out a win (5-9). Pitt State went on to play Rogers State on Friday, May 21, whom the Gorillas beat (7-6), then defeated Central Oklahoma later that day (2-1).  

Pittsburg State reached the championship game of the MIAA Tournament for the second time in program history. It was the Gorillas first appearance in the MIAA tournament since claiming the 1999 MIAA Championship.  

The Gorillas battled Central Missouri for the MIAA title on Saturday, May 22. The Gorillas lost (2-11), ending the 2021 season with a 30-16 overall record, 21-12 in MIAA play.  

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