Morning Sun
  • Pittsburg State baseball starts with 18-1 win

  • Let’s play ball.

    The Pittsburg State Gorillas opened their season Saturday with a 18-1 shellacking of the Maryville Saints at Al Ortolani Field.

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  • Let’s play ball.
    The Pittsburg State Gorillas opened their season Saturday with a 18-1 shellacking of the Maryville Saints at Al Ortolani Field.
    Pitt State pounded out 20 hits, allowed one run on three hits over nine innings and committed no errors, giving head coach Matt Murray his first win.
    “I tell you, very excited,” Murray said. “First of all, I want to thank all the fans. We had a great showing with the weather like it is . . . matter of fact, I see your teeth chattering right now. For the weather the way it was, to have that type of showing by our fans and our parents was just outstanding.
    “Yes, I think it blew my expectations a little bit. I was excited for our players, in that they came out and played with energy. They wanted to be out here today and that meant a lot to all of us.”
    Pitt State pitchers Matt Stalcup, George Brandecker, Ryan McKay and James Fitzgearlds combined on the three-hit effort — Stalcup threw four and Brandecker three, McKay one and Fitzgearlds one.
    “It started on the mound with Matt Stalcup,” Murray said, “followed up by George Brandecker, followed up by Ryan McKay and followed up by James Fitzgearlds. All four did a nice job of throwing strikes and I thought our defense played with some intensity and pre-pitch communication. It was a nice job all-around.”
    Stalcup fanned six during his time on the mound and Brandecker allowed the only Maryville run on a Corey Gall solo home run in the sixth. Stalcup picked up the win.
    Meanwhile, the Gorillas were paced by shortstop Evan Thomas with five hits, third baseman Brad Foss with four and second baseman Austin Lastimado with three.
    Thomas batted a perfect 5-for-5 and missed the cycle by a double — triple in the first, single in the third, two-run home run in the fourth, single in the sixth and single in the seventh. Thomas drove in and scored three runs.
    Ryan Bilovesky, who had some tough luck hitting earlier in the game, blasted a grand slam.
    “Offensively, we did a nice job,” Murray said. “We didn’t panic early. We had a couple punchouts early in the game and our guys kept plugging away. I think it was the fourth inning and their pitcher started getting a little bit tired and leaving some balls up. We started to score some more runs at that point.
    “It’s something we talk about as a club. We need to be able to execute our offense. What’s important for us, it’s as many hits as we have on the board we’d like to have runs. We were close today.”
    Pitt State pushed across five in the fourth, three in the sixth and nine in the seventh, first driving starter Brett Grempler out of the game and then feasting on relief pitchers like Brandon Sarkissian.
    Page 2 of 2 - Ten different Gorillas collected hits, 11 different players scored at least a run and eight different players drove in at least a run. Junior college transfer Tory Stoffregen, making his Pitt State debut, scored three and drove in two.
    The game was delayed by a hour because of snow in Missouri. The Saints are from St. Louis.
    The Gorillas and the Saints close out their two-game set today with a 1 p.m. first pitch at Ortolani Field. This will be a nine-inning contest.

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