HOISINGTON—There are three aspects in baseball: defense, pitching and hitting. According to McPherson Pipeliners head coach Caleb Hartman, you need two to win a ball game.
That wasn't the case for the McPherson Pipeliners. Fresh off their first victory of the year Thursday night, the Pipeliners were outscored by the Great Bend Bat Cats 20-10 at Legion Field in Hoisington falling to 1-1 on the season.
The Pipeliners struggled in both pitching and defense all night after rotating five different pitchers, with each of them lasting no more two innings.
R.J. Gaines got his first start on the mound, but after giving up six runs in the second inning, Hartman decided to retire Gaines and rely on his bullpen for the rest of the game.
The Bat Cats, loaded with Division I players coming out of the SEC Conference, were able to score at least one run in each inning after going scoreless in the first. Few of those innings resulted in home runs the Pipeliners gave up.
"Guys weren't reading off the bat well. We had some infield hits that shouldn't be a routine," Hartman said. "Pitching, I don't know where to start. We keep leaving the ball down the middle in the zone, what more can you expect," Hartman continued.
McPherson's batting has improved from Thursday's game. They also blasted a couple of home runs for the first time this season led by both centerfielder T.K. Koontz and designated hitter Enzo Bonventre. Both Pipeliners had an RBI to go along with their home runs. The Bat Cats were still in control throughout the game even though McPherson tried to stay in the game, and yet the Pipeliners remained in a deep hole after the last home run in the bottom of the eighth.
"I think we did well hitting. We put up 10 runs, including two bombs, and we picked up on some of the stuff they were throwing . That's the only positive," Hartman said.
"This team is a good team," Hartman said referring to Great Bend. "They went to the NBC (National Baseball Congress) tournament and had a great year. I don't know if it's nerves, soreness or tiredness. It's something we need to figure out what it was and move on from it."
The Pipeliners and Bat Cats will meet again Saturday, June 2, but this time McPherson will be back home at the Light Capital Baseball Stadium at 7 p.m. The Pipeliners are looking to stay undefeated at home after defeating the Haven Warhawks on Thursday, 8-1.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_or our sports page @MacCountySports