Curtis Meyer reporter
The Pitt State Gorillas had a bit of a down week, playing Emporia State and Central Oklahoma away and Missouri S&T at home. Losing to Emporia and Mo S&T to start the week, the Gorillas rebounded with two wins in a three-game series at Central Oklahoma.
“Definitely didn’t start out the way we wanted; those two midweek games didn’t play very well. Tough road loss to Emporia, couldn’t finish the game. The next game just didn’t play very well at home against S&T,” said head coach Bob Fornelli.
Playing Emporia on Tuesday at Emporia, the Gorillas struggled to find consistent pitching throughout the game. Emporia got three runs in the first, after allowing a walk with a player on third then a 2 RBI single.
Pitt State was able to answer quickly, scoring in identical fashion as Emporia did with a walk allowing junior Cade Clemons to score. Junior Nixon Brannan then hit a 2 RBI single, tying it up 3-3 at the top of the second.
The Hornets answered, hitting a lone homer to make it 4-3, but the Gorillas answered in the fourth with a two-run homer by sophomore Austin Warkins, and extended with a lone homer by junior Ryan Koval. This would not be enough, as the Hornets scored two runs in the sixth and seventh innings to win 8-7.
Following this disappointing loss, the Gorillas faced the Missouri S&T Miners at home the next day. The Miners scored first, on an RBI single, as the Gorillas tried to play catch-up all day.
Junior Daegen Brady hit a single RBI to tie it up at 1-1, but S&T scored five runs in the next two innings as Pitt State was held scoreless. Koval and Brady were able to score a couple runs on sacrifice flies in the third, but it would not prove to be enough, as the Gorillas lost 13-7.
In a reverse of fortunes, the Gorillas road trip to face the Bronchos was more of a success. The Gorillas started strong, with 4 runs in the first after a fielding error in center field off a hit by sophomore Karson Coffee. Sophomore Joe Hamilton hit an RBI double to make it 5-0 in the second.
Central Oklahoma was able to tie it up with a 5 run second inning, thanks to a three RBI homer and a two RBI single. Pitt State would not let this deter them, scoring six runs in the second. Clemons started things off with a two-run homer, followed by Coffee scoring on a throwing error by the third baseman.
Brannan then hit a 2 RBI double, making it 11-5. The Bronchos came back, hitting a two-run homer to make it 11-7. Brady then scored on a wild pitch in the fifth, making it 12-7. Brannan hit a one run homer in the sixth to make it 13-9.
Central Oklahoma threatened in the sixth, making it 13-12, but Pitt State put up three more runs to end the game 16-13. Following this offensive performance, Pitt State mis-stepped, letting Central Oklahoma gain an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning of the next game before finally finding the scoreboard.
A five-run inning at the top of the ninth made the final score closer, but it was a 10-6 loss for the Gorillas. The Gorillas found their footing again in the next game, despite the Bronchos scoring the first run. Powered by four runs off two homers by Clemons, the Gorillas walked away with a 9-5 victory over the Bronchos to take the series.
“I think we performed really well; I think our pitching led the way, our hitters definitely picked it up, got the timely hits when we needed them,” said Clemons.