PITTSBURG — Offense wasn’t an issue for the Pittsburg State baseball team in the series finale against Minot State on Saturday, winning both games of the doubleheader 18-9 and 8-2 to claim the four-game set 3-1.
BATS HOT FOR GORILLAS IN GAME THREE
Pitt State touched up the Beavers for 18 runs in game one on the strength of 22 hits, with everybody in the lineup recording at least two base knocks.
“I thought we were a little more patient at the plate today,” PSU head coach Tom Meyers said. “I thought today was an example of what can happen when you hit through the middle of the ball. You begin to get multiple line drives which don’t allow the outfielders time to get underneath the ball.”
The Gorillas fell behind by three in the opening frame, but got one run back in the second on an RBI double down the right-field line by Reece Garvie.
Minot matched it with a run in the third inning, before falling behind following a five-run inning for the Gorillas in the bottom half of the frame.
The rally was highlighted by a pair of two-run singles by Josh Whisler and Garvie.
Pitt State crossed the plate three more times in the fourth inning — two coming via a home run off the bat of Hunter Clanin — but the Beavers answered with four runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth to tie the score at 9-all.
The Gorillas regained the lead at 13-9 with four runs in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a two-run single by Dallas Reed, an RBI single by Clanin and a sacrifice fly from Cody White.
PSU sealed the win with five more insurance runs, while keeping the Beavers off the scoreboard in the final three frames.
Whisler had a day to remember at the plate, as he drove in four runs on three hits with a run scored.
Garvie also had a three-hit performance which included three RBIs and two runs scored.
Brad Kinsey recorded his first win of the year out of the bullpen, allowing one run on three hits with one strikeout though 1.1 innings.
GORILLAS WIN FINALE
Momentum carried over for the Gorillas in the finale, as they posted five runs in the first two innings, en route to another win.
Following a scoreless top half of the inning, Colton Pogue wasted no time in stirring things up, as he hit a leadoff single and later came in to score on an RBI double by Clanin to give PSU the early lead.
The Gorillas followed it up with five runs in the second inning to push the lead to 6-0.
The frame was highlighted by a solo home run off the bat of White and included an RBI single by Whisler.
Minot narrowed the gap to four with a pair of runs in the fourth, but Pitt State got them both back with a run in the bottom half and one more in the fifth.
Clanin was the offensive catalyst in the finale, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Tyson Cushman also had two hits and crossed the plate twice.
Cooper Gardner earned the win on the mound with three strikeouts through 3.2 scoreless innings.
Pitt State will host Fort Hays for a three-game series, starting at 2 p.m. on Friday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.