Tigers split first two games of series at Pittsburg State

Fort Hays State baseball split a pair of conference games at Pittsburg State on Friday in Pittsburg. The Tigers took the seven-inning contest 11-3 before falling in the nine-inning game 8-6.
Game 1: Fort Hays State 11, Pittsburg State 3

Fort Hays State took a 5-1 lead after two innings and never looked back in an eight-run win. FHSU scored twice in the fifth, sixth, and seventh to pull away late.

FHSU went up 3-0 in the top of the first on an RBI single by Kevin Czarnecki and a two-run home run by Cooper Langley. In the second, Nick Hammeke had an RBI double and then he came in to score on an error by the Gorillas.

Gabe Cook turned in a solid effort on the mound to keep the Tigers in front. He threw a complete game by scattering seven hits with three walks, while striking out four. Only one of the three runs he allowed was earned. Cook improved to 1-2 on the year.

FHSU was up 5-2 after three innings before it widened the lead to five in the fifth. Alex King drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and then Andre Vieyra scored on a throwing error.

Extra-base hits would give the Tigers their final four runs of the game. In the sixth, Austin Unrein hit a solo homer and Langley had a RBI double. In the seventh, Connor Ross hit a two-run homer.

Game 2: Pittsburg State 8, Fort Hays State 6

Fort Hays State initially took the lead in the second contest of the day with a run in the third, but Pittsburg State scored two in the fourth to go up 2-1 and led the rest of the game despite the Tigers pulling within one two more times.

Connor Ross got the Tigers on the board in the third with a sacrifice fly RBI. Steven Federau had a solid first three innings on the mound before running into trouble in the fourth. He took the hard luck loss in the game with only two runs surrendered, since the Tigers never caught the Gorillas from there on out, dropping to 0-3 on the year.

Pittsburg State expanded its lead to 6-1 with four runs in the fifth, three coming off reliever Giles Fox who lasted only a third of an inning. Kyle Vogt would go on to pitch the next 3.1 innings, allowing three runs, and Austin Unrein picked up the final out of the eighth.

The Tigers bounced back to put four runs on the board in the sixth, pulling back within one at 6-5. A double, followed by three straight singles led to the four runs. Kevin Czarnecki and Cooper Langley each had RBI singles, then Andre Vieyra and Alex King each had RBI groundouts. However, PSU pushed its lead to 7-5 with a solo homer in the sixth.

Czarnecki got that run back in the seventh with a RBI single, but the Gorillas brought in closer Ryan McKay to get the final out of the inning to stop the Tiger rally. McKay would go on to hold the Tigers scorless over the final two innings to pick up his sixth save of the season. PSU added an insurance run in the eighth.

PSU starter Jake Stevenson picked up the win, going 6.0 innings. He allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks, but struck out four. He moved to 2-4 on the season.

The Tigers (12-23, 9-17 MIAA) and Gorillas (12-21, 8-14 MIAA) will play another doubleheader on Saturday, starting at 1 pm.

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