McPherson High came close to pulling out a win in both games on the road with Augusta Monday, falling just short in both.

McPherson High came close to pulling out a win in both games on the road with Augusta Monday, falling just short in both.

The Bullpups couldn’t hold onto an early lead in game one, falling 3-2, while Augusta took game two 6-4.

MHS got on the scoreboard first in game one after Cody Starkel reached on a lead-off double to right field in the second inning. He scored two batters later on a Jonathon Rogers sacrifice grounder to the pitcher, giving the Pups a 1-0 lead.

McPherson extended that lead to 2-0 in the top of the third, when Adam Bowers came home off an Ethan Nadeau sacrifice fly.

Augusta broke their scoreless streak in the bottom of the frame, however, but still trailed through the top of the fifth inning. In the bottom of the fifth, the Orioles scored twice, taking the lead 3-2 and held out through the next inning-and-a-half to take the win.

Alex Ruxlow took the loss for McPherson in game one, pitching a complete game and facing 18 batters. He gave up three runs, two earned, on 12 hits. He struck out four and walked one.

“Ruxlow pitched a good game and deserved a better fate,” MHS coach Craig Marshall said. “ We had a couple of errors on defense and on the bases that made the difference.”

Starkel’s double was the lone Bullpup hit.

Game two saw a tight battle between the two teams for the first two-and-a-half innings, but Augusta took control in the third inning and never looked back.

McPherson struck first, with both Nadeau and Logan Schrag scoring in the top of the first off an Oriole error. Augusta struck back, though, in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at 2-2.

The score would remain the same through the McPherson third inning. Augusta scored two more runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-2 lead, which they never relinquished. They would score a run in each of the fourth and fifth innings.

McPherson would pick up runs in the top of the fifth and the top of the seventh off of Augusta errors.

Rogers went five innings in the losing effort, giving up six runs, all earned, on nine hits. He struck out three and walked two.

Griffin Myers went 1-for-3 with a run scored for McPherson. Starkel had the lone Bullpup RBI off a walk.

“Rogers pitched a good game, our defense was good, but we didn’t swing the bats at all,” Marshall said.

“Our focus before our next games with Circle Friday will be situational hitting drills.”

The losses snap a four-game win streak for McPherson (4-4, 4-0 AVCTL Div. III).

The MHS JV did not play Monday, but will, instead, host Augusta this afternoon starting at 4 p.m.

The Pups are next in action Friday afternoon for a doubleheader with Circle.