PITTSBURG — Central Oklahoma outlasted Pittsburg State Varsity Baseball 9-8 on Sunday in a game where both teams traded punches with a spot in the MIAA Championship on the line.
Pittsburg State were down as many as six runs against the Bronchos, but rallied back to push the game to extra innings.
“The guys played like they didn’t want to go home,” said Pittsburg State Head Coach Bob Fornelli. “We knew if we won the game we had a chance at regionals, as well as have the opportunity to play for an MIAA title.”
“Overall we can’t keep our heads down. We gave it everything we had, but in the end we just came up a little bit short. This experience will make us better down the road.” added Fornelli.
Broncho T.K McWhertor captured the walk-off hit on a RBI-single to right in the tenth.
The Gorillas season officially ended Sunday evening, after Pittsburg State’s name wasn’t called during the NCAA Division II selection show.
The Bronchos seemed to be poised to claim a blowout victory, jumping to a 7-1 lead after five innings of play.
Pittsburg State began their rally in the top of the seventh. Chaz Burgess opened the scoring with an RBI single to right field. Quin Reasoner and Tyson Cushman followed with RBI singles to cut the deficit to four.
Alex Achtermann and John Oliver closed the inning with RBIs to cut the lead to 7-6.
Pitt State’s Clint Allen launched an RBI-double in the next frame to knot the score at seven.
Central Oklahoma seemingly responded with the knockout blow in the eighth, by way of a McWhertor RBI-single past shortstop.
Pittsburg State answered once again in the ninth, with Oliver taking a 0-2 pitch to left field for a RBI-double.
Central Oklahoma had to settle for runner-up, falling to Central Missouri 10-2 in the championship game.
Sunday marked UCM’s 23rd conference championship.