PITTSBURG — Pitching was strong for the Pittsburg State baseball team in the 3-2 win over Minot State at home Saturday, but the Gorillas couldn’t keep it going in the rematch, losing 7-4.
GORILLAS RECEIVE STRONG OUTING BY WHITING
Seven scoreless innings by the Pitt State starter Cody Whiting led the Gorillas to a one-run victory in game one.
The Beavers plated two runs in the eighth after Whiting’s departure and had the tying run in scoring position with one out in the ninth, but left him stranded following a strikeout and a flyout to end the game.
“The two starting pitchers matched up for a pretty good game,” PSU head coach Tom Meyers said. “I think we had the breaks that game defensively and we were able to capitalize on their mistakes, but the tables turned on us in the second game.”
Errors haunted Minot throughout the ballgame, as Pittsburg plated two runs in the second and one more in the seventh, all coming from defensive miscues.
After seven shutout innings, Whiting recorded the first out of the eighth before walking the next two batters and handing the ball over to Nick Brown out of the bullpen.
Brown walked the first batter he faced and traded a run for an out in the next at bat.
The Beavers came around to score once more on an error, but a strikeout to end the inning cut the rally short.
Minot followed it up with a triple off the wall in center field to lead off the ninth, but it was ruled the runner didn’t touch second base on his way to third, marking the first out of the frame.
PSU reliever Cody White went on to get out of the inning with the lead in tact to earn the save on the strength of a strikeout and a flyout.
Whiting got the win on the mound, notching 11 strikeouts with one earned run through 7.1 innings of work.
Andrew Vogelbaugh was the offensive catalyst, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
BEAVERS TAKE GAME TWO
A momentum shift in game two saw the Beavers tie the series at 1-1 on the strength of five runs in the fifth inning.
The Beavers overcame an early 4-2 deficit on a 3-run home run in the fifth and kept the Gorillas quiet in the final three innings to earn the win.
“I thought we weren’t able to make offensive adjustments to really break the game open in the first game, but I felt like we were able to do that in game two,” Meyers said. “We were able to build a two-run lead, but we just lost focus defensively in my opinion.”
A leadoff home run followed by a double in the opening frame lead to a 2-0 advantage for Minot, but it didn’t last long, as the Gorillas took control with three runs in the third.
The third inning was highlighted by a two-run home run off the bat of Colton Pogue and included an RBI single to center field by Hunter Clanin.
Pitt State went on to push the lead to 4-2 with an RBI single by Joven Afenir.
Minot regained the lead with five runs in the fifth, with three runs coming via a home run.
The Gorillas managed to get two runners on to bring the potential tying run to the plate in the bottom of the fifth and again in the seventh, but was turned away both time by the Beaver defense.
Brendan Stanek was on the hook for the loss, as he allowed two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts through 4.2 innings.
Afenir was the offensive catalyst for PSU, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Game three of the four-game series will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
— 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.