Curtis Meyer reporter
Gorilla baseball had a successful weekend, picking up a win over Drury State and a couple of wins against Rogers State in a three-game series. The Gorillas are now 26-11 overall, and 17-6 in conference play.
Pitt State started the week with a Tuesday game at Drury, playing the Panthers in Ozark, MO. It was a close game that saw a real team effort win, as the Gorillas defeated the Panthers 6-5.
“We really needed to win that game, as it would help us clinch a regional spot, so took care of that game,” said sophomore Karson Coffee.
The Gorillas started the scoring after 2 scoreless innings with a dramatic steal of third base followed by a throwing error by the Panther’s catcher. This allowed sophomore Austin Warkins to run it home for the 1-0 lead.
Drury answered, hitting an RBI single to tie it up in the bottom of the third and then taking the lead with another RBI single in the fourth. Pitt State retook the lead in the fifth, tying it at 2 apiece, with an RBI ground out by senior Brett Daley. Junior Cade Clemons added to Pitt State’s lead with a two-run homer, making it 4-2.
Drury came back with a two-run homer in the fifth, and a single homer in the seventh, giving the Panthers a 5-4 lead with just two innings left. Pitt State found a way to win, with Warkins reaching third on a error by the Drury pitcher allowing two Gorillas to run home for the game winning runs.
Following this impressive win, the Gorillas played Rogers State. Despite a strong lead in the beginning, the Gorillas fell to the Wildcats in nine innings. Scoring first on a two-run homer in the first by sophomore Karson Coffee, the wildcats answered with a three-run inning in the bottom of the first.
Pitt State exploded in the fifth, scoring five runs from five different batters, with Warkins, Coffee, junior Nixon Brannan, and junior Daegan Brady each had an RBI, while Coffee scored on an error by the catcher.
The Wildcats kept pace with three runs in the seventh inning and one in the ninth, tying it to force extra innings. The Gorillas scored two runs in the top of the tenth to make it 9-7 but were unable to stop the Wildcats in the bottom of the inning as they scored three runs to win it at 10-9.
Immediately following this, Pitt State was able to power through the next two games, winning 14-10 in the next game. Pitt State got on the scoreboard first with a 2 RBI double, but Rogers was able to tie it up in the bottom.
Scoring a run to take the lead in the second, the Wildcats allowed Warkins to hit a one run homer in the third and Brannan to hit another one in the fifth to give the Gorillas a 4-3 lead.
Rogers State broke loose in the bottom of the fifth, scoring five runs and taking an 8-4 lead. Pitt State didn’t blink, with RBIs from Brannan and junior Trey McClelland followed by a three-run homer from Clemons that tied it up for Pitt State.
Warkins hit an RBI single in the seventh, Clemons flied it out to the infield allowing Coffee to score on an error, and Coffee hit a fielder’s choice in the ninth to give Pitt State a 14-9 lead. Rogers scored one run in the ninth to finish the game.
In the final game of the series, the Gorillas scored first with an RBI single from Clemons but allowed two runs in the bottom. Scoring two more runs in the fourth and two in the fifth, the Gorillas held onto a 5-2 lead before allowing the Wildcats to score 2 in the fifth to make it a one score game.
Coffee hit a 3 RBI double in the sixth to salt it away, 8-3. The Gorillas will play at home this next week, hosting Emporia on Tuesday and Central Missouri over the weekend.
“It’s huge, this last month has sucked being on the bus, missing class. It’s been horrible, but we’ve been winning, we’ve been playing well, so just got keep that up and being home is awesome,” said Coffee.