ST. CHARLES, Mo. — If the events of the last week have shown us anything, it's that baseball's a crazy game and, depending upon perfective, a funny game.
For example, Pittsburg State held a 6-3 lead entering the bottom of the ninth on Lindenwood and the Gorillas had sophomore closer Ryan McKay on the mound, who already had a scoreless eighth behind him in relief of starter Tyler Thompson.
Keep in mind that in his first 10 appearances, McKay allowed only four runs in 19 1/3 innings. Entering Friday, McKay owned a 1-1 record, 1.86 ERA and five saves.
Well, sure enough, Lindenwood found the big hits and pieced together a 7-6 comeback victory at the Lou Brock Sports Complex.
Lindenwood designated hitter Jerry Roam delivered a two-run double, Marshall Vallandingham hit the game-tying single and Ryan Light became the center of a celebratory mob with his walk-off single plating Kyle Kruger.
In the words of Chuck Berry, you never can tell.
Gone are the Gorillas' three-game losing streak and their .500 record both overall and in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play, dropping Pitt State to 13-14 overall and 10-11 MIAA. Pitt State continues to struggle on the road.
Pitt State fell behind 3-0 in the third, the Lions helped out by a Pitt State error and then helping themselves with a Nathan Prindle two-run single.
The Gorillas answered in the fourth with three runs on three hits and one Lindenwood error. After the error, Cody Ball singled and Evan Thomas and Nate Arnold hit back-to-back RBI singles, plating Foss (who reached on the error) and Ball. Jacoby Martin drew a bases loaded walk for the final run of the frame.
Foss' sacrifice fly in the fifth gave Pitt State a 4-3 lead. Foss scored Aaron Boucher, who tripled and placed himself in a most convenient scoring position.
Martin extended the lead to 5-3 in the sixth with a RBI single plating Arnold, both former Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League foes (Martin for Galena, Arnold for St. Mary's Colgan) now teammates, both spending time behind at the plate for the Gorillas. Arnold singled to lead off the frame, moved over on a Luke Bordewick sacrifice and moved over 90 more feet on a wild pitch.
Andrew Kreiling's solo homer gave the Gorillas their 6-3 advantage.
Thompson settled down after that three-run third and would have been the winning pitcher of record before the Lindenwood rally in the ninth.
Pitt State and Lindenwood play the middle games of their four-game series, beginning 1 p.m. Saturday.
Lindenwood improved to 7-3 at the Lou Brock Sports Complex.
LIONS 7, GORILLAS 6
PSU000 311 010 — 6 9 2
LWU003 000 004 — 7 11 1
Tyler Thompson, Ryan McKay (8) and Jacoby Martin. Brendan Kleekamp, Dalton Woodard (6), Devin Breihan (6), Brian Hruby (9) and Mike Wilson. WP: Hruby (1-0). LP: McKay (1-2). E: Cody Ball, Evan Thomas; Ryan Light. HR: Andrew Kreiling. 3B: Aaron Boucher; Mike Failoni. 2B: Jerry Roam, Marshall Vallandingham. SH: Luke Bordewick. SF: Brad Foss. SB: Martin; Light, Nick Kolley, Wilson. HBP: Wilson.