PITTSBURG, Ks. — Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburg State Gorillas baseball team was back at home for their game three matchup against the Central Oklahoma Bronchos in the first round of the 2023 MIAA Tournament.
The Gorillas pulled out a 14-8 victory over the Bronchos to advance to the semifinal round. Pitt State scored nine runs through the first three innings and added five more late runs to run away with the win.
Austin Warkins finished the day with 3-for-4 with four RBI’s a double and three run homerun. Joe Hamilton went 4-for-6 with four hits and three runs scored to keep the Gorillas ahead. Jake Grauberger picked up where he left off Friday and Saturday with a three run homer in the first inning. Grauberger knocked a homerun in each game of the series. Brett Daley also joined in on the action with a solo homerun in the eighth inning.
Tanner Leslie really came in clutch as a relief pitcher to earn him a win. Leslie allowed seven hits and a walk, but kept the Bronchos at bay through four inning. He came off just one day of rest after pitching in Gorillas opener win 12-7, Friday night.
Head Coach Bob Fornelli was pleased with his team’s performance Sunday.
Coach Bob Fornelli said, “Yeah, it was just a battle of two good baseball teams and we were fortunate enough to score more runs than them. But, credit to Central Oklahoma for playing the way they do, they’re a great program and we were fortunate enough to score more runs than them and Tanner Leslie was the MVP of our weekend. You know he was great on Friday and great on Sunday gave us an opportunity to be here.”
The Gorillas will now play against the one seed Central Missouri Mules Thursday, May 11 in the opening game of the semifinal round of the MIAA Championship series in Warrensburg at noon.