The McPherson College baseball team hosted the Missouri Valley Vikings at Bulldog Park on Thursday, on a day in which the weather finally cooperated. Despite the nicer weather, the Bulldogs dropped an 8-4 decision to their counterparts from Marshall, Missouri.
For the home team, the struggles came on the offensive side of the game. At the plate, the Bulldogs scored their four runs on six hits, while the Vikings doubled them up in both runs and hits. Mac also struggled get anything going with runners on base. They ended up leaving nine runners stranded on base, several of which were in scoring position when the inning ended.
Jakob Shields was the only Bulldog to record multiple hits against the Vikings. Shields finished the day a perfect 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, two walks, one run scored and another batted in. The four other Bulldog hits were singles by Kyle Lux and Mark Strebin, a triple by Hunter Dreiling, and a three-run home run by Brevin Baessler.
In the field, the Bulldogs started the game with Tyler Norris on the hill. Norris worked the first three and two-thirds innings, giving up just two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks. He left the game with two outs in the top of the fourth inning, and the Vikings threatening with runners on second and third.
Jake Herman got the call out of the pen, in relief of Norris. Herman got out of the jam by getting the first hitter he faced to ground out to McCoy Pearce, at third base. Herman pitched the next three innings, giving up three runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts and no walks. In the top of the eighth, Coach Moses went to his bullpen again, this time brining in Brett Carter. Carter pitched the eighth inning, allowing three runs on two hits, with two strikeouts and one walk. Adam Tabor was the final pitcher of the game for the Bulldogs. Tabor worked the ninth inning, retiring the Vikings in order and recording one strikeout.
The Bulldogs struck first, scoring a solo run in the bottom of the second, when Dreiling tripled and then was driven in by Shields. The Vikings countered by scoring a pair of runs in the next half inning to take a 2-1 lead. The Bulldogs were held scoreless for the next four innings, while Missouri Valley added one run in the fifth, and then a pair of runs in the seventh to extend their lead to 5-1. In the bottom half of the seventh, Baessler got the Bulldogs to within one with his three run shot over the leftfield wall. That would be as close as the Bulldogs would get down the stretch. The Vikings tacked on three more in the top of the eighth and then held on for the four run victory.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 9-7 on the season and they remain 4-3 in the KCAC. They will get a chance to improve upon both records this weekend when the Ottawa University Braves come to town for a three game series on Saturday and Sunday. The Bulldogs and Braves will play a double header at Bulldog Park, starting at noon on Saturday, and then finish the series with a single nine, on Sunday at 2 p.m.