PITTSBURG — Pitt State Club Baseball is off to the Division II Club Baseball World Series championship game after dispatching Longwood University 6-1 on Monday evening at Jaycee Ballpark.
“Club baseball started as a dream a few of us had just two years ago,” said player-coach Nate Grimaldi. “To see us have a chance at a national championship is an indescribable feeling. This has become bigger then all of us, and from top-to-bottom of the roster I couldn’t be more proud of our guys.”
The Gorilas lost to Longwood 4-3 earlier Monday morning, setting up the elimination game between the two teams.
Game one Longwood 4, Pitt State 3
For the first time during the World Series tournament the Gorilla bats struggled to bring in run support.
Grimaldi was hit by a pitch to leadoff the first frame, before advancing to third on a bad throw to second on a steal attempt. Blaine Fisher drove Grimaldi home on a groundout to first to give Pitt State a 1-0 lead.
Longwood held the Gorillas scoreless over the next five frames, taking a 4-1 lead heading into the seventh inning.
Simon Higginbotham led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer to spark a late Pitt State rally. Blake Vail’s two-run RBI single loaded the bases and cut the lead to 4-3, however the Gorillas were unable to bring home the tying run.
Game two Pitt State 6, Longwood 1
Game two was evenly played for four frames, leading to a 1-1 game heading into the fifth. Pitt State responded with five runs in the top of the inning, led by RBIs from Higginbotham, Brandon Martinkus and Kyle Sellers to push the lead to 5-1.
An error in the sixth brought home a insurance run for the Gorillas.