Pitt State picked #2 in MIAA poll; enters spring with high expectations

The Gorillas were 30-16 overall last season.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg State Gorillas are #2 in the MIAA preseason coaches poll released on Friday afternoon.

“It’s a good honor, but it doesn’t really mean anything,” says head coach Bob Fornelli, “Anything you get before the season starts, you have to earn. That’s what we’re going to try to do, earn everything the right way, play the right way and see what happens in the long run.”

“We’re all excited. We’re here to do one job, and that’s to win a conference title, maybe host a regional and do some things that haven’t been done here in a while,” says infielder/pitcher Dawson Pomeroy, “We have the talent and I think everyone is motivated from last year.”

The Gorillas were 30-16 overall last season, including 21-12 in the MIAA. The Gorillas finished the season as the MIAA tournament runner-up, but didn’t make the NCAA national tournament.

“We kind of struggled at the end of the season,” Pomerow says, “We got into the conference championship, but didn’t finish how we wanted to and didn’t make a regional. We are ready to go and ready to prove who we are and show everyone who we are.”

Pitt State returns some big time players on the offensive side, including Pomeroy.

Pomeroy was a Division II All-American last season and was a 1st team All-MIAA utility player for the Gorillas. He’s the 8th All-American in Pitt State baseball history. Pomeroy hit .259 with five doubles, seven home runs and 24 RBIs last season. He also made 12 relief pitching appearances, posting a team-low 1.37 ERA and six saves in 19.7 inning of work. He allowed just six hits and four walks on the season and registered 27 strikeouts.

The Gorillas also return power-hitting infielder Garrett McGowan, who finished 4th in the MIAA in RBI’s last season. McGowan hit .265 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI’s.

“Offensively, we have a lot of those guys back and we’ve added some really nice pieces,” Fornelli says, “If you ask me right now I think we’re going to do a good job scoring runs, but we have pitchers who are going to throw strikes and give us a chance every time they run out there.”

Pitt State is scheduled to open the season next Friday, facing Southwestern Oklahoma State.

“There’s no better feeling than opening day and opening weekend,” Pomeroy finishes, “We want to get out there and see how we line up against everyone else. I think we’re going to be a confident group. We believe in ourselves and we believe in each other. I think we’re going to have a really good year.”