Noah Hess reporter
Pitt State Baseball had a rough weekend against Washburn University, only winning one of the three-game series. Starting off with a 6-9 loss on April 28 at Al Ortolani Field.
“We haven’t played very good baseball for three weeks in a row and it shows,” said head coach Bob Fornelli.
Washburn was the first one to score on Friday’s 6-9 loss. Washburn scored first with a two-run first inning. Pitt State responded with a home run to centerfield by Junior Jake Grauberger in the second inning. Washburn scored four runs in the fourth inning, giving Washburn the 6-2 lead over Pitt State. Washburn then scored one run in the sixth and two runs in the seventh inning. Putting the Gorillas in a 9-2 hole heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Gorillas tried at a comeback in the seventh, starting off with Sophomore Karson Coffee hitting a double to left center allowing Sophomore Austin Warkins and Junior Daegan Brady to score. Followed by a single by Joe Hamilton to center field allowing Coffee and Junior Nixon Brannan to score, closing the lead to 6-9. Pitt State gave up too many runs early and was never able to recover.
Pitt State had a better Saturday against Washburn. Starting off with a home run by Junior Cade Clemons in the second. Washburn later tied the game up with a home run in the fourth. Pitt State Scored twice off a double from Grauberger. Then Grauberger scored off a defensive mistake in the fourth. In the sixth inning, the Gorillas added to their 4-1 lead, Hamilton hit a home run with Sophomore Brevon Lee on base adding two runs, making the score 6-1. Brannan hit a home run with Warkins on base making the score 8-1 in the sixth. Lee hit the final home run with Grauberger on base for a 10-1 Gorilla victory.
Unfortunately, the Gorillas had a tough Sunday. Washburn scored four runs in the first inning. Pitt State did not respond until the third inning with a double by Warkins that allowed Hamilton to score. Lee hit a double in the fourth allowing Brady and Grauberger to score. Making the score 4-3 with Washburn in the lead. Washburn added two runs to their lead in the fifth. The Gorillas made one final attempt at a comeback with a home run by Grauberger in the seventh, but this was not enough for a comeback, making the final score 6-4 Washburn.
Fornelli took the blame for the given up runs in the fifth inning on Sunday.
“I probably let Boston Dowd go one too many innings, probably should have gone to Tanner Leslie so that’s my fault,” said Fornelli.
The Gorillas finished the season with a 31-17 winning record with a .646 winning percentage, going 21-12 in their conference.
“We’ve been in this position the last few years we’ve had three or four seeds both times and I think we’ve been resilient in the tournament,” said graduate student Ryan Koval. Koval is referring to the conference tournament starting May 5.
Koval had a positive attitude moving forward and shared his confidence in his teammates and their determination moving forward.
“Definitely confident in Shoemaker to get us to win on Friday and we’re going to go for it,” said Koval.