McPherson High baseball coach Grant Myers could only shake his head after Monday's game two win by the Bullpups over Augusta.
McPherson High baseball coach Grant Myers could only shake his head after Monday’s game two win by the Bullpups over Augusta.
The Bullpups, backs to the wall and facing the possibilty of a sweep against the Orioles, needed a clutch hit from someone in the bottom of the eighth with score tied 3-3.
With Logan Schrag at third and Marcus McDaniel at first with only one out, it was, perhaps, the best opportunity the Bullpups could have had to get a walk-off win without allowing Augusta back to the plate. Griffin Myers stepped up to the plate and, with a 3-1 count, smacked a ground ball to right field that, really should have loaded up the bases.
Instead, the Oriole right fielder bobbled the throw, allowing Schrag to round third and score to give the 4-3 walk-off win.
“We will take the win,” Grant Myers said. “That was two good games, really. We battled both games and found a way to win. Four hits in eight innings and we figured out a way to win.”
McPherson (3-7) went up early in the first inning 1-0, then went up 2-1 in the third inning. Cody Starkel drove in Caleb Schmidt in the fifth inning to give the Pups a 3-1 lead, which starting pitcher Alex Ruxlow did everything he could to hold on to. Ruxlow gave up only one earned run on three hits, with five strike outs and four walks in his five innings.
He gave way to Schmidt in the sixth inning, who was knocked around a little by the Orioles. Schmidt gave up five hits, all in the seventh inning that saw Augusta tie the game and force extra innings. He gave up two earned runs and walked four, but the defense of the Pups behind him allowed Schmidt to get the win.
“Caleb struggled a little bit,” Myers said, “but we got out of it. He figured out a way to get an out, get a pop-up, get a fly ball to Nadeau. It’s just the little things.”
The game did have a contentious note, at least on the part of Augusta. Pitcher Gavin Hiser, who worked the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, was getting progressively more frustrated with what he felt were faulty calls from the home plate umpire.
Hiser was facing a 1-0 count with one out in the top of the eighth with a runner on second when, following a comment a called strike two, he was ejected from the game.
“I’m not sure he said much [at bat],” Myers said. “It was when he was on the mound before. He probably should have been tossed earlier. I don’t know what he said, but he said something. We’ve had our moments, but you can’t say it. They shouldn’t say it. You’ve got to let it go, get over it and move on.”
Griffin Myers went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead the Bullpups in game two.
Game one was dominated by Oriole pitcher Garrett Hutson, who struck out 13 Bullpups and only allowed four totals hits in a 3-0 win.
“We were looking forward to seeing Hutson,” Grant Myers said. “I think it was good for us, because we’re going to see kids like that. We want to see those good pitchers. We’ve got to figure out a way to hit them and not walk back to the bench quite so many times, but we were looking forward to it. It was a challenge for us.”
The JV squad also split with Augusta. The Bullpups won game one 7-6 off a walk-off hit by Jeff Reed. MHS the lost 6-3 in game two.
The series split marked, really, the end of the first half of the season for the young Pups. They have a slate of AVCTL Division III games coming up the next three weeks, as they face Buhler at home Monday, Mulvane May 1 and a reschedule with El Dorado on May 6.
All three doubleheaders will be played at Grant Sports Complex.
“Mulvane split with Andale, so they’ll be pretty good,” Myers said. “Buhler, they’re better. They weren’t real strong last year, but they beat us twice last year. So we’ve got our work cut out. You just come to play ball. These kids want to play.”
Contact Chris Swick by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.