Curtis Meyer reporter
Gorilla baseball picked up three wins this week, going 3-0 against The Fort Hayes Tigers, outscoring them 34 to 12 in three games. It was a dominant performance for the Gorillas, who are currently riding an eight-game win streak.
Playing at Fort Hays, Pitt State got off to a good start with junior Jake Grauberger homering in the first inning. Junior Trey McClelland followed that up with a RBI single to center field, giving Pitt State the two to nothing lead to start the game.
Senior Brett Daley hit a two-run homerun in the second, boosting the Gorillas lead. Junior Cade Clemons hit an RBI single in the third to make it 5-0, but the Gorillas really broke it open in the fourth.
Pitt State opened the fourth with a double RBI by sophomore Austin Warkins, extending the lead to 7-0. Not done yet, junior Nixon Brannan hit a two-run homerun, putting up Pitt State by nine. Both teams went scoreless in the fifth, but Brannan hit a sacrifice fly to let Grauberger score.
Fort Hays scored their only run of the game in the sixth, but Pitt State put the final nails in the coffin in the 8th thanks to a 3 RBI homer by McClelland and an RBI double by sophomore Karson Coffee. It was a strong outing for graduate student pitcher Zac Shoemaker, who is 7-0 on the season and held the Tigers to five hits in just 6 innings.
Game two was more competitive, though the Gorillas still won handily. Clemons scored first, hitting an RBI single to give the Gorillas a 1-0 lead to start. The Tigers answered in the second with a run of their own.
Daley retook the lead for the Gorillas in the second, scoring a single homer to make it 2-1. Clemons gave the Gorillas a more comfortable lead in the third, hitting a 2 RBI single to make it 4-1. The Tigers were not done yet, scoring in the third on a wild pitch.
Grauberger hit an RBI single to make it 5-2 in the fourth, but Fort Hays came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it 5-4. Clemons gave Pitt State some breathing room with a single homer in the fifth, and Brannan padded that in the sixth with an RBI double.
Fort Hays would score one more in the seventh, but a two-run homer by Brannan made it 9-5. Three different pitchers came in relief for the Gorillas in the final three innings, only allowing one run.
Following Friday’s games, the Gorillas played one more against the Tigers on Saturday. The Tigers got the scoring started this game, gaining two runs and putting them in front of the Gorillas in the first. Sophomore Brevon Lee hit a single RBI, followed by a throwing error that allowed Warkins to score.
Fort Hays retook the lead briefly, scoring in the bottom of the second, but Pitt State answered in the fourth with an RBI by Brannan. Pitt State scored two runs in the fifth, an RBI by Coffee and then a stolen third base turned into a run by a throwing error, ran by Coffee.
Up 5-3, Pitt State could not relax as Fort Hays pushed back with three runs in the fifth, with a sacrifice fly, a wild pitch, and a solo homer. Brannan answered for Pitt State again, hitting a two-run homer to put Pitt State up 7-6.
The Gorillas added on some insurance runs in the ninth, with a sacrifice fly by Lee and a three-run homerun by Daley. The Gorillas are now 21-7 on the season, 13-3 in conference, and will play Emporia, Missouri S&T, and Central Oklahoma next week, with MO S&T traveling to Pittsburg.