When you're hot, you're hot and when you're not, you're not and the Pittsburg State baseball team dropped its seventh and eighth consecutive games in 12-1 and 8-5 fashion Saturday to Southwest Baptist at Al Ortolani Field.
The eighth proved the toughest on the day — Pitt State built an early 4-1 lead, surrendered its three-run lead in the sixth, tied it up in the bottom of the sixth and lost on a three-run double in the 11th, the fourth extra inning of the scheduled-for-seven contest.
In a week featuring games where the Gorillas scored a combination of two runs over 25 innings against Missouri Southern and Southwest Baptist, five runs in Game 2 Saturday might give Pitt State some confidence back headed into its series finale Sunday against Southwest Baptist.
The Gorillas scored one in the first, two in the second and one in the third.
In the first, Andrew Kreiling, Brad Foss and Tory Stoffregen connected on back-to-back-to-back singles, with Stoffregen plating Kreiling. Luke Bordewick grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and the Bearcats came out of the inning.
In the second, Jacoby Martin and Derek Hackney connected on RBI singles.
In the third, Stoffregen proved the spark to a 4-1 lead, doubling to right center and scoring on a throwing error by catcher Drew Miller on a steal of third.
Southwest Baptist scored seven of the final eight runs, five of them on doubles by first baseman Jake Vore.
Vore cracked a two-run double in the sixth, plating Christian Binger and Landon Young.
Vore came back with the game-winning three-run double in the 11th, plating Spencer Blacksher, Binger and Young.
His two-run double went to right center and his three-run double to left center, proving himself an equal opportunity gap finder.
Pitt State tied it up at 5 in the sixth on a Foss bases loaded walk.
Sam Vergara earned the win for the Bearcats, allowing one run on five hits over six innings of relief. Vergara came on in the sixth, gave up the tying run in his first inning and pitched five consecutive scoreless innings.
Southwest Baptist helped out its cause defensively by turning three double plays, especially behind Vergara, who induced 10 ground ball outs compared to four strikeouts and four fly ball outs.
Pitt State connected on 13 hits — three by Kyle Dickens and two each by Foss, Stoffregen, Bordewick and Martin — but stranded an unlucky 13 runners.
In the first game, Southwest Baptist proved relentless offensively, plating two in the first, two in the third, four in the fourth, two in the fifth and two in the seventh.
Bo Helsel connected on a two-run double in the first. Chance Wolfe blasted a two-run homer to left in the third. In the fourth, Binger hit a RBI double and the Bearcats scored three more on a costly error by Pitt State left fielder Cody Ball. Binger hit a RBI triple in fifth and Blacksher picked up a RBI single in the seventh.
Meanwhile, the Gorillas managed only five hits against Southwest Baptist starter Tim Collins, the second consecutive complete game outing against the Gorillas in which a Bearcats pitcher allowed just a single run.
Foss, Evan Thomas and Ian Robinson singles, a Kreiling double and Kyle Dickens provided the only run with a solo homer in the fifth.
Dickens collected his fifth homer of the season, his first since a two-homer effort Feb. 23 against Fort Hays State. On the day, Dickens collected four hits in seven at-bats and increased his batting average .21 points to .323 on the season.
Dickens leads the Gorillas with five home runs and ranks second with 20 RBI.
Pitt State remains near the bottom of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, 10-17 MIAA after this eight-game losing streak, seven MIAA games. The losing streak trails only the 16-game skid of Lincoln as the worst in the MIAA.
Second-year head coach Matt Murray returns from a four-game suspension on Sunday.
BEARCATS 12, GORILLAS 1
SBU 202 420 2 — 12 11 0
PSU 000 010 0 — 1 5 2
Tim Collins and Drew Miller. Tyler Thompson, Dustin Ulrich (5), Nick Brandecker (5), James Fitzgearlds (7) and Ian Robinson. WP: Collins (3-3). LP: Thompson (4-4). E: Brad Foss, Cody Ball. HR: Chance Wolfe; Kyle Dickens. 2B: Miller 2, Christian Binger, Spencer Blacksher, Bo Helsel; Andrew Kreiling. SH: Aaron Boucher. SF: Kyle Jochems. SB: Landon Young, Ross Wolfe, Chance Wolfe. LOB: SBU 8, PSU 4.
BEARCATS 8, GORILLAS 5 (11 innings)
SBU 100 004 000 03 — 8 10 2
PSU 121 001 000 00 — 5 13 2
Brady Greear, Zac Porter (3), Sam Vergara (6) and Drew Miller. Cort Lesmeister, Ryan McKay (6), Cameron Fisher (9), Aaron Snow (11) and Jacoby Martin. WP: Vergara (4-1). LP: Fisher (1-1). E: Miller, Zach Pirrello; Derek Hackney, Andrew Kreiling. 2B: Jake Vore; Tory Stoffregen, Luke Bordewick, Kyle Dickens. SH: Martin, Samuel Falcon, Aaron Boucher. SB: Stoffregen. CS: Bo Helsel. HBP: Landon Young 2, Spencer Blacksher. LOB: SBU 9, PSU 13.