Tahlequah Daily Press

April 5, 2013

NSU rallies from 5 down to pick up split with Pitt State

From Staff reports

— PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Northeastern State baseball team earned a split with Pittsburg State Thursday afternoon at Al Ortolani Field.

The RiverHawks (16-14, 16-14 MIAA) scored five runs in the final inning to steal the first game 6-5, and the Gorillas (18-11, 15-10 MIAA) took the series finale 12-3.

NSU 6, Pittsburg State 5 (1st game)

Northeastern State scored five runs with two outs in the top of the final inning to come from behind and take down the Gorillas in the opening game of the series.

Pittsburg State got within one out of victory after sophomore Tyler Wilkins grounded into a double play. Sophomore David Weber (HBP), senior Chad Davidson (HBP) and senior Kegan Knight (walk) loaded the bases without registering a hit on the next three at-bats.

Senior Trent Wilkins plated Weber after being hit by a pitch following a pitching change, and that brought junior Cody Robinson to the plate.

The team leader in runs batted in this season added to his total when he hit a laser to center field on a 1-2 count. The line drive landed right at the warning track and just outside the reach of the center fielder, and the double cleared the bases and tied the game at 5-5.

Junior Kyle Singleton singled through the right side to score Robinson and give NSU its first lead of the game, and the visitors went to the bottom of the seventh with a 6-5 lead.

Senior pitcher Trevor Walch sat down all three batters he faced on groundouts to earn his fourth save of the season and wrap up the come-from-behind victory.

Robinson led the RiverHawk offense with two hits and four RBI. He also scored the game-winning run. Knight scored twice and Trent Wilkins and Singleton both drove home one.

Sophomore Kyle Shambaugh pitched the first three innings and allowed three runs on three hits. Fellow sophomore T.J. Foster (2-0) earned the win after allowing two runs on four hits in the next three innings.

Pittsburg State’s leadoff batter reached base in each of the first five innings, and the Gorillas scored in five of the first six frames. They also outhit NSU 7-6.

PSU relief pitcher James Fitzgearlds allowed three runs on no hits in the seventh inning, and Cody Wren (2-3) was tagged with the loss after giving up the final two runs on two hits.

Pitt State 12, NSU 3 (2nd game)

Northeastern State held the Gorillas at bay over the course of the first two innings of the second game, but the home team came out swinging for the remainder of the contest and stifled the RiverHawk offense to earn the split.

PSU scored twice in the third and three times in the fourth to open up a 5-1 lead. Seven runs between the sixth and eighth frames allowed the home side to pick up the 12-3 win.

Singleton led NSU with a 2-for-4 effort. He drove home three, and Knight and Trent Wilkins also had two hits.

Sophomore Hayden Walch (3-4) was tagged with the loss after tossing the first three innings and allowing three runs on three hits. Northeastern State used up six more pitchers over the course of the final six frames.

Eric Hansen (3-1) threw the first 7.0 innings for Pittsburg State. He allowed just one run on seven hits.

Ryan Ventura and Austin Lastimado led the home bats with three hits and three RBI each.

The RiverHawks will now meet Lindenwood in a three-game set this weekend. The doubleheader will be contested April 6, and first pitch is set for 1 p.m.