PITTSBURG — Missouri Southern snapped the Pittsburg State baseball team’s three game winning streak on Wednesday at Al Ortolani Field after rallying back in the middle innings to earn a 4-3 victory.
Both teams had scoring opportunities slip away throughout the contest, but the Lions came out on top after plating the go-ahead run in the seventh inning.
“We just played pretty bad,” PSU head coach Tom Myers said. “When you play like that, you’re going to get beat. Fortunately, we were able to keep it a one-run game, but we gave them several opportunities to blow that game open. We also had opportunities to add on, so it was pretty disappointing to see such low effort and the lack of competitiveness from our group.”
The Gorillas went up by two on the strength of a pair of RBI singles by Cody White and Reece Garvie in the second and third innings, but the Lions answered with three runs in the fifth to take a 4-3 advantage.
Joven Afenir came through for an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame to tie the game at 3-all.
The score remained tied until the seventh inning, when the Gorillas got themselves into trouble by walking the bases loaded which resulted in the Lions pushing across the go-ahead run.
Nick Brown was called out of the bullpen to get the Gorillas out of the jam, and got the job done, earning a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.
After the Lions retired the Gorillas in order in the eighth inning, Hunter Clanin hit a leadoff single in the ninth, but was left stranded to end the game.
“We just allowed too many walks on the mound,” Myers said. “We had to pitch in some tough situations, and we got through it at times, but you can’t put yourself in those situations against teams like that. In that three-run inning, we didn’t hold runners on base or play defense well.”
Colton Pogue was the offensive leader for the Gorillas, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.
Afenir and Garvie each collected a pair of hits with one RBI and one run scored.
The Gorillas will play again at 2 p.m. on Thursday, as they start a three-game set against Washburn.
— 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.