After fourteen-and-one-half innings covering both ends of a doubleheader on Friday at the home field at Grant Complex, the Summer Bullpups lost two games to Marion by a total of two runs, 9-8 and 2-1.
In game one, the Bullpups spotted Marion three runs in the first and another two in the second before dinging the Marion pitchers for five runs in the bottom of the second to tie the game up, until the top of the third when Marion added one more run to their side of the scoreboard. After the visitors added yet another run in the top of the fifth, McPherson pushed across two more in the bottom of the inning to once again tie the game up at 7-7. Marion tacked on two more runs in the sixth, and while the Summer Bullpups knocked across one more run in the bottom of the seventh it was not enough to avoid the one-run, 9-8 defeat.
A key triple in the second inning helped Zane Myers lead the Bullpups nine hit offensive attack. Myers ended the game going three-for-four and knocking in two runs. Kourtney Craig and Dawson Shetler each added two hits each, while Garrett Farney had two runs batted in and Brayden Stout scored twice. The Bullpups finished the game with nine runners left on base, while the defense helped give up four unearned runs by earning five errors in the game.
Farney took the mound to start the game for McPherson and went four innings, giving up eight hits and six runs while striking out four. Myers came on in relief and struck out four while giving up three runs on three hits and took credit for the loss.
“Both games were close losses tonight,” noted Summer Bullpups Head Coach Matt McCasland. “In game one we did not play well defensively, and we gave up way too many free bases that led to free runs. Our offense kept us in the game, but five errors on defense is going to sink you every time.”
Marion only needed a run in the top of the first and another in the top of the fourth to earn a clean sweep of the Summer Bullpups with a 2-1 victory in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
Devin Feil had two of the meager four team hits in the second game for the Bullpups, while Kourtney Craig had credit for the lone run batted in during the fifth inning. The Bullpups stranded eight runners in game for a total of 17 possible runs left on base during both games of the doubleheader.
Chandler Wiard pitched a complete game for the Summer Bullpups, giving up just three hits and two runs, while walking just two and striking out nine.
“Our game two was much better defensively,” concluded Coach McCasland during his coach reflections. “Our overall focus and intensity was drastically improved from the first game. Chandler (Wiard) was outstanding on the mound as he single-handedly kept us in the game. While he got into a couple of jams, he competed his way out each time and it’s too bad we couldn’t get him a win. We had our chances offensively as we just didn’t execute well enough in key situations.”
The two losses dropped the Summer Bullpups to 9-11 for the summer as they get a short break before returning to the diamond on Friday, July 6 when they travel to Junction City to play in the weekend Junction City Tournament.
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