Megan Brownell photojournalist
Through spring break this past week, Gorilla baseball played three conference foes, first in a three game series against Northwest Missouri State University on Mar 10-12, then a single game against Emporia State University on Tuesday Mar 14, and then closed out the week with another three game series against Northeastern State University Mar 17 and 19. They won the series against NWMSU 2-1, beat ESU and swept NSU 3-0. Head coach Bob Fornelli was happy with the 6-1 record over the break and even how well they played in the loss.
“I thought we played pretty good even in the game we lost, it was a tough cold day that we just didn’t find a way to score but overall we are playing pretty good baseball right now,” Fornelli said.
In game one against NWMSU, the Gorillas won 7-3. The Gorillas started off strong, taking a 5-0 lead after the fourth inning.
The Bearcats were able to get on the board with two runs in the sixth inning, but PSU extended their lead with two of their own in the seventh. NWMSU scored one more in the eighth but it was not enough.The Bearcats came back on Saturday to win 3-1.
The Gorillas got an early lead going up 1-0 in the second, but the Bearcats scored three runs late to take the win and tie the series. They were able to come back on Sunday to take the series with a 4-1 win. They once again took an early lead with two runs in the second. They scored one more in the fifth, but NWMSU scored their first to cut PSU’s lead to two. They scored another in the sixth to extend their lead, and bring the win.
They then took on ESU in a single game Tuesday, and won 9-8 due to a late comeback. The hornets held the first lead, being up by one after the first. They scored another in the third, but PSU answered with three to take their first lead. After a back and forth battle, ESU was up 8-7 going into the eighth inning. Pittsburg was able to complete a comeback scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth, and come away with a win. Fornelli was also happy about the extra work they could get in with the break and how it affected them on and off the field.
“They were professional baseball players this week, we didn’t have school so I thought they had a lot of fun in the dugout and did a good job on and off the field,” Fornelli said.
They then closed out to break with a series against NSU. The games were originally supposed to be Mar 17-19, but due to weather on Saturday that game was moved to a Sunday doubleheader. They started off the series taking a 11-7 win. The Gorillas held a lead the whole game, but NSU brought it close with seven runs in the seventh and eighth inning combined to bring it within two. PSU was able to close out the game with two runs in the bottom of the eighth.
They won the next game 5-2, starting out being up 2-1 after two innings. They took a big lead scoring two runs in the fourth, but the Riverhawks responded with one in the fifth, then another run from the Gorillas handed them the series win. Lastly, they took the last game to sweep the Riverhawks with a 12-0 win. This game was all PSU, with a shutout off of only three hits. That was from a great pitching game of Ben Des Rosiers with nine strikeouts. Fornelli was proud to sweep NSU, especially getting a little revenge from last season against the Riverhawks.
“It felt good to sweep NSU, they kind of kept us out of the regional last year, so it felt good to come out and play good against them,” Fornelli said.
Gorilla baseball will next play at Fort Hays State University in a three game series Mar 24-26 in Hays, KS. They will also travel to Emporia, KS for another single game against Emporia State University on Tuesday Mar 28.