McPherson College and Kansas Wesleyan University both entered Wednesday’s KCAC doubleheader in need of wins.
The Bulldogs had lost five straight, including a pair of series to Tabor College Friday and Saturday to open up conference play.
KWU had dropped seven in the same time period before picking up a win against Clarke University Tuesday afternoon.
By the time Wednesday’s doubleheader was done, Kansas Wesleyan had extended their winning streak to three, while McPherson’s losing skid extended to seven games, as the Bulldogs fell 9-3 in game one and 7-3 in game two.
Mac College took the early advantage in game one, leading 2-0 after the bottom of the second. The Coyotes responded with two of their own in the third, but the Bulldogs plated one more in response in the bottom of the frame to hold onto the lead, 3-2.
Kansas Wesleyan moved ahead, though, on a four-run fifth inning. A two-run belt to deep left-center by Kyle Story in the sixth put the Coyotes up 8-3 and a one-run seventh cemented the KWU win.
“The game of baseball comes down to pitching and defense,” McPherson coach Andrew Ehling said.
“When those two fascets of the game aren’t coming together, we’re going to give up big innings. And that’s what happened. It’s tough to win when you give up four-run innings.”
Nolan Huelsman took the loss, going two innings on the mound, facing 14 batters and giving up five runs, two earned, on six hits. He walked one and struck out none.
Andrew Pina went 2-for-2 at the plate with a single RBI. Dorian Shelton recorded two RBIs off 1-for-3 hitting.
McPherson had game two tied at 2-2 entering the fifth inning, when Kansas Wesleyan plated four to go up 6-2. They scored one more in the seventh.
McPherson’s Brendan Miller drove in Keegan Bednasek in the bottom of the sixth, but the Bulldogs had nothing going in the seventh, as Bennett Ratzloff grounded out into a double play that gave the Coyotes the 7-3 win.
Miller, Pina and Jose Nossa all recorded RBIs for McPherson in the second game. Miller and Zach Wilson both went 2-for-4 hitting.
Jalen Davenport went three innings and picked up the loss for McPherson (4-17, 0-6 KCAC). He faced nine batters and gave up two runs on three hits, which includes Story’s second home run of the afternoon, a solo shot in the second inning. He walked one and struck out none.
“Our defense, their legs get heavy,” Ehling said. “That’s not an excuse for them; they’ve got to be prepared to play all of the time. We’ve just got to come together as a team and play as a team.”
Page 2 of 2 - The Bulldogs travel to Salina to face the Coyotes on Saturday. First pitch for the doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m. Snow and sleet is in the forecast for Saturday, which may cause some delays.