Curtis Meyer reporter
Pitt State Gorilla Baseball had a strong week, picking up three wins against MIAA rival Missouri Western on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It was a good rebound after losing two of three against Missouri Southern the week prior. Pitt State is now 12-6 overall and 4-2 against conference opponents.
Traveling to St. Joseph, Missouri, the Gorillas started off with a dominant 14-2 win on Saturday, March fourth. Pitt State scored in the first inning, when junior Nixon Brannan hit a homer to left field, scoring two.
In the third, the Gorillas added to their lead when sophomore Karson Coffee hit a single that allowed two runners to advance to home. Junior Ryan Koval followed this up with a sacrifice fly that allowed another runner to score. Junior Connor Laux hit an RBI single to round out the inning.
Scoring again in the fifth, Laux hit an RBI double to allow two more scores. Sophomore Austin Warkins followed that with an RBI single. Junior Cade Clemons and Koval each hit a solo home run in the sixth.
Missouri Western got on the board in the sixth, but Brannan hit a homer to score two in the seventh and seal it. Graduate student Zac Shoemaker pitched for Pitt State, posting 8 strikeouts, and allowing 2 runs on five hits.
Sunday’s game was more of a nail biter, with the Gorillas narrowly winning 4-3. The Gorillas scored first from an error from a hit by Coffee in the second, but the Griffins took the lead with a 3-run inning in the fourth off two homers.
The Gorillas managed to tie it up at three apiece after Brannan and sophomore Joe Hamilton each hit an RBI single in the eight forcing extra innings. Neither team was able to break the stalemate for five innings, until the thirteenth.
Koval hit a single to left field for an RBI to take a 4-3 lead, and the Gorillas held the Griffins scoreless in the bottom of the thirteenth to claim the win.
Following the comeback effort on Sunday, the Gorillas took control of Monday’s matchup, winning 15-1. Junior Trey McClelland got Pitt State on the board first, with an RBI single in the first. Clemons hit a double RBI to score one, and Koval hit a single up the middle for two RBIs.
The Griffins scored a single run in the bottom of the first to stay competitive, but it was all Pitt State from there. Clemons hit a solo homer in the fifth to make it 5-1. Senior Brett Daley hit a double to start the sixth, scoring one.
Brennan hit a two-run homer next, followed by a three-run homer by Coffee, setting the score at 11-1 and putting it away. Brannan homered for a second time to score another run in the seventh, and sophomore A. J. Craft hit an RBI single to make it 13-11.
After a passed ball allowed another runner to score, Junior Andrew Branson hit a sacrifice fly to allow another score, resulting in the final 15-1. Pitt State was supposed to host Oklahoma Baptist University on Tuesday, but that game was postponed. Pitt State will play again this weekend at Northwest Missouri.