Southern holds on to defeat Pitt State 9-5 in the second round of the MIAA Baseball Tournament Championship

PITTSBURG, Ks. — The second round of the 2024 MIAA Baseball Tournament Championships began Thursday afternoon at Al Ortolani Field. The second game of the day featured a rival matchup between the two-seed Missouri Southern Lions and the three-seed Pitt State Gorillas.

The Lions fend the Gorillas with a 9-5 victory. Southern moves to 40-13 on the season. Meanwhile, Pitt State dropped to 34-17 on the year.

The first runs of the game came from MSSU in the third inning when Will Doherty tripled one to right centerfield bringing home Drew Townsend and Henry Kusiak.

In the fifth inning, Southern poured on five runs to lead 7-0. The lead-off man Townsend smacked a solo home run to right field. Garrett Rice singled one up the middle and two more runs scored, Ethan Clark and Kusiak. A Treghan Parker walk with the bases loaded resulted in Doherty scoring. Drew Davis hit a SAC Fly to right field allowing Rice to score.

In the sixth inning, Doherty hit a double down the line to right field and Clark made his way home to score. A Rice SAC Fly to right field scored Kusiak. Southern in front 9-0.

However, Pitt State would push the issue starting in the seventh inning when a solo home run from Dylan Kurahashi Choy-Foo gave the Gorillas their first run of the game trailing 9-1.

Next inning, eighth inning, Nixon Brannan hit a fly ball to dead centerfield both A.J. Craft and Choy-Foo scored two more runs. Pitt State cut the lead to six.

One last chance for the Gorillas in the ninth inning, Daegan Brady crushed a shot to left centerfield for a two-run homer. Pitt State within four. But, Southern was able to close out the inning and win the game.

Daegan Brady led the Gorillas going 2-for-4 from the plate with two RBIs, one run scored, and a home run. Nixon Brannan went 1-for-3 and had two RBIs. Dylan Kurahashi Choy-Foo went 1-for-3, one RBI and two runs scored.

As for Missouri Southern, both Drew Townsend and Will Doherty went 3-for-5. Doherty had three RBIs and scored a run while Townsend had one RBI, scoring two runs and a home run. Henry Kusiak was 3-for-4 from the plate and scored three runs. Garrett Rice went 1-for-4 with three RBIs and scored one run.

On the mound, Cole Gayman earned his 10th win of the season to improve his record to 10-2. He pitched 7 innings allowed seven hits surrendered one run with three strikeouts. Cale McCallister came in and worked 1.1 innings giving up three hits and four runs along with one strikeout.

Pitt State moves to the loser bracket to face the one-seeded Central Missouri on Friday, May 10th at 3 p.m.

Missouri Southern advances to the winner bracket to square off against four-seed Washburn on May 10th at 11 a.m.

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