The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 4, 2013

Pitt State, Central Missouri split in MIAA opening round


The Joplin Globe

HAYS, Kan. — Pittsburg State and Central Missouri drove to western Kansas to trade thumpings on Saturday afternoon.

The Gorillas and Mules, displaced because of this week’s weather, split the first two games of their best-of-three series in the opening round of the MIAA Tournament at Larks Park.

Pitt State won the opener 11-3 before Central Missouri avoided elimination with a 16-4 win in the nightcap.

The two teams will play a decisive game today at 1 p.m. The winner advances to the MIAA Final Four Series at Community American Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

Ryan Ventura’s two-run homer and Ryan Bilovesky’s two-run triple keyed Pitt State’s five-run fourth inning that broke open a 2-2 tie in the opener.

That was enough for Matt Stalcup, who improved to 7-3 by scattering six hits through seven innings before Ryan McKay recorded the final six outs.

The Gorillas opened the nightcap with a four-run first inning before the Mules came alive.

Central Missouri scored two runs each in the first and second to tie the game before taking a 5-4 lead in the third.

The Mules then exploded for 11 runs in the fifth thanks to four doubles and a pair of Pitt State errors.

Joplin graduate Barrett Noirfalise was 3-for-8 with two RBI for the Mules in the doubleheader.