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Gorillas Prepare for Pivotal Series Against Griffons - KOAM TV 7

Gorillas Prepare for Pivotal Series Against Griffons

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The Pittsburg State University baseball team will travel to St. Joseph, Mo., for a pivotal MIAA weekend series against Missouri Western State University. The Gorillas and Griffons will meet in a 4 p.m. (CDT) doubleheader Friday (Apr. 11) and then close out the series with a 1 p.m. twinbill Saturday (Apr. 12).

The Gorillas enter the action 15-23 overall and 10-18 in MIAA play. Pitt State will seek to halt an eight-game conference losing streak that saw the Gorillas plummet from seventh to tied for 12th in the league standings in the last two weeks. Pitt State swept a non-conference doubleheader from the University of Missouri-St. Louis Wednesday (Apr. 9) as the Gorillas claimed 11-4 and 7-6 win over the Tritons.

The Griffons, the defending MIAA regular season and tournament champions, are 19-14 overall and 15-11 in MIAA play. Western has won four straight games, and nine of its last 11 contests to overcome a 10-12 start to the season and climb to third in the MIAA standings.  The Griffons swept a four-game series against Lincoln University last week at Jefferson City, Mo. Western outscored LU, 40-7, in the series taking 4-3, 6-3, 11-1 and 19-0 victories over the Blue Tigers.

The Gorillas are batting .288 as a team with 59 doubles and 15 home runs on the season. Pitt State is scoring 5.1 runs per game. The Gorillas' pitchers hold a 5.73 staff ERA with 221 strikeouts in 292 innings of work on the season. Junior utility player Nate Arnold leads the squad with a .413 batting average. Arnold went 6-for-7 in the twinbill against UMSL Wednesday. Senior corner infielder Brad Foss is hitting .381 with 12 doubles and 27 runs scored, while senior outfielder Cody Ball is batting .333 with four home runs and a team-best 29 RBIs.

Senior righthander Tyler Thompson (4-4, 4.50 ERA), freshman righthander Cort Lesmeister (3-2, 4.54 ERA), freshman righthander Matt Standlee (0-3, 5.47 ERA) and junior righthander George Brandecker (0-5, 7.46 ERA) all made starts for the Gorillas last weekend against Southwest Baptist University. Sophomore righthander Ryan McKay has appeared in a team-leading 15 games with a 2-3 record, 3.18 ERA and five saves to his credit.

The Griffons are batting .302 as a team with 67 doubles and 28 home runs on the year. Western is scoring 6.8 runs per game. The Griffons' pitchers sport a 4.36 staff ERA with two shutouts to their credit. Junior outfielder Ryan Degner leads the squad with a .377 batting average with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 33 RBIs. Senior catcher Jake Schrader (.333 BA) has a team-leading eight home runs and 37 RBIs.

Junior righthander Grant Woods (2-2, 4.22 ERA), junior righthander Josh Lansangan (1-1, 5.20 ERA), senior righthander Jakes Jones (4-2, 3.77 ERA) and senior righthander Mark Spreckels (2-0, 3.66 ERA) all made start for the Griffons last weekend against Lincoln. Junior righthander Tyler Sanders has appeared in a team-high 17 games with a 3-2 record, 3.14 ERA and four saves to his credit.     
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