Megan Brownell photojournalist
This past weekend, Gorilla Baseball started MIAA conference play with a home series against the Missouri Southern State University Lions Feb 24-26. They won the first game, but lost the last two games to drop the series 2-1. Head coach Bob Fornelli looked back at the weekend and what played a factor in losing the series.
“Honestly we didn’t play very well,” Fornelli said. “We didn’t do little things pitching wise, we swung the bats okay, but we have to get better at the little things to be successful.”
Game one, the Gorillas were able to comeback and win 8-3. MSSU started off with an early lead, scoring one run each in the second and third innings. After a scoreless inning, PSU tied it up with two runs in the fifth. They kept that momentum, scoring six more runs across the next three innings to go up 8-2. MSSU scored one run in the ninth, but it was not enough to give PSU a 1-0 lead on the series.
On Saturday, MSSU was able to come out and tie the series from an offensive fight with a 20-16 win. MSSU started off with a 4-0 lead after the top of the first inning, but PSU scored five of their own to make it 5-4 after one. They scored two more in the second inning to extend their lead by three, but MSSU tied it up in the third inning. MSSU then took their lead back with one run in the fourth inning, but PSU put up five more to lead 12-8. MSSU took their lead back with five runs of their own the next inning. They would hold their lead the rest of the game, scoring a total of seven more runs in the next three innings, to PSU only scoring four more. Fornelli felt that some players did really well over the games, but it was not enough to win the series.
“Shoemaker was really good on Friday night, he helped give us an opportunity to win the first game, but overall we just didn’t play good enough to win and we paid for it,” Fornelli said.
The last game in the series was similar, an offensive fight that ended in an MSSU win, 19-14. This game, PSU took the first lead scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning. MSSU got on the board in the second inning with two runs, but PSU pushed their lead to four with another run. They scored three more in the third to extend the lead again to 9-2. MSSU scored four more runs in the next two innings to cut PSU’s lead to just three. But, they next scored five runs in the sixth inning to take their first lead of the day. They kept it going with another eight runs in the next two innings while PSU only scored five more in the last three innings in a comeback attempt. It was not enough though, giving PSU the series loss.
They will continue MIAA play with an away three game series against the Griffons from Missouri Western State University on Mar 3-5. They will also play a single non-conference game against Oklahoma Baptist University at home on Mar 7 at 2pm. Fornelli is prepared to have a good week of practice to help go into those games and hopefully come out with some wins.
“We need to have a good clean week of practice, and go out and play our best baseball,” Fornelli said.