Megan Brownell photojournalist
This past weekend, Gorilla Baseball began their 2023 season at the UCO First Pitch Classic in Edmond, OK. They went 2-1 on the weekend, dropping their only game to Oklahoma Baptist University from a big seven run fourth inning and kept riding their own momentum.
Head coach Bob Fornelli looking back on the weekend thought of the weather delays and the overall up and down of the first tournament of the year.
“I felt we handled adversity well, with how the lights went out and then we had to get up at 10 a.m. and play and then sit a game and play the next, and get up the next day again and play, so we played three games in 24 hours,” Fornelli said. “I really thought they battled through it and it’s a good sign of what’s to come.
Their first game, they played Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and took the win 2-1. The Bulldogs struck first, scoring a run in the second inning. The Gorillas got their first run in the seventh inning to tie the game. They were able to take the win with a walkoff hit in the ninth inning from junior infielder Andrew Branson to win 2-1. Brady said how he feels the weekend went and took home two wins.
“I was glad we could win the weekend overall,” Brady said. “It was a slow start to the season but we were able to take two wins away from it.”
For game two, they took on Oklahoma Baptist and lost 21-4. OBU got off to a hot start, with two three run innings to PSU’s one run in the second to lead 6-1. They kept riding that momentum, taking the third inning with five runs and the fourth with seven. PSU scored one run each in the fourth-sixth inning to attempt a comeback, but another three run inning from OBU in the sixth put a stop to it. The game ended after the top of the seventh due to the run rule. Fornelli also said how he feels the team’s energy was over the weekend even with lots of new guys.
“I thought the team’s energy was good, we only have four or five guys that have played here before so I thought it was a little feeling it out process early but as the weekend went we got better,” Fornelli said.
For game three, they played Northern State University and bounced back to win 7-4. The Gorillas started off slow, quickly going down 4-0 after the first inning. The Gorillas put up a fight scoring one run in the second and another three runs in the fourth inning to tie the game up at 4 a piece. The game stayed tied until the ninth inning, when PSU was able to ring in three runs to take the win. Three PSU pitchers limited NSU to one hit during the final five innings. Sophomore right handed pitcher Paul Panduro threw a clean eighth inning, with sophomore right handed pitcher Andrew Winser doing the same in the ninth to take home the win. Brady says how he feels he played over the games from the weekend.
“”I believe I played well, you can always do thinking back on it but we were able to get two wins which is always nice,” Brady said.
The team has their first home games with four matchups against Regis University Friday Feb. 10- 12. Games two and three will be played Saturday. Brady said how he feels going into the games after getting the first weekend out of the way.
“I feel very confident going into this weekend, everyone has those first weekend jitters out of the way and we are ready to start rolling,” Brady said.