PITTSBURG — Pittsburg State fought off two straight elimination games on Saturday to earn an opportunity to play in the MIAA championship on Sunday afternoon. The Gorillas will play Central Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m. with a spot in the championship game up for grabs.
Game one: Pittsburg State 5, Missouri Western 4
Pittsburg State had to rally back from deficits twice against MWU. Missouri Western claimed a 2-0 lead after three innings.
PSU responded in the fourth. Chaz Burgess tripled home Caleb Cox to cut the lead to one. Burgess scored on a fielder’s choice RBI from Clint Allen to tie the score.
After a MWU run in the fourth, Pittsburg State would take their first lead in the sixth after a Blain Ohlmeier two-run RBI double.
John Oliver’s RBI single in the eighth extended the Gorilla lead.
Both teams traded one run in the eighth.
Justin Root was credited with the win in relief, striking out three batters in three innings. Tanner Lane earned the save, pitching the final two innings.
Game two: Pittsburg State 2, Central Oklahoma 1
In their final elimination game, the Gorillas relied on good pitching and timely runs to capture the win. Dante Richardson pitched a complete game in his second start on the season, striking out 12 batters and allowing only five hits.
Ty Herrenbruck doubled home Tyson Cushman with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning for what would become the game-winning run.
Central Oklahoma tallied their only run in the seventh inning.
Pitt State got on the board first in the second. Allen smashed a RBI-single to right field to spark the scoring for Pittsburg State.
PSU will take on the Bronchos for the second time on Sunday. Pittsburg State previously handed UCO starter Brayden Nelson his first loss of the season.
Missouri Southern State University will faceoff against University of Central Missouri at 9 a.m. in the other semifinal game.