GREAT BEND—The McPherson College baseball team dropped their opening round game of the 2019 KCAC Tournament to the York College Panthers, 6-3.
The Bulldogs, who were seeded fourth in the tournament, led the third seeded Panthers for the majority of the game. After 2.5 scoreless innings, the Bulldogs finally broke the tie with a run in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI double by Kristopher Perez.They went to hold that one run lead for the next four innings, before surrendering it in the top of the eighth inning when the Panthers hit a solo home run off of Jarrod Manick.
Neither team was able to score in the final inning, so the game headed into extra innings. The Bulldogs, twice in the bottom of the ninth and tenth innings, got a runner on base with either at hit or a walk, but were unable to bring them around to score. In the top of the eleventh, the Panthers finally broke through. With runners on first and second with two outs, they designated hitter hit a rope into the left centerfield gap which scored two runs. They would add three more in the inning to take a 6-1 lead.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the eleventh, and scored a run on an RBI single by Trevor Johnson. They were able to take advantage of a wild pitch by the Panthers to score another run, but then the rally stalled. A double play and a fly-out ended the game with the Bulldogs trailing, 6-3.
The Bulldogs used four pitchers in the opening game of the tournament, beginning with Mairion Brunken, who worked the first four innings, shutting out the Panthers on just two hits. First out of the bullpen was Josh Lewis, who threw the next three innings. He also held York scoreless on just one hit. Manick was next, working 3.2 innings and allowing six runs on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks, and was collared with the loss. Brett Carter finished the eleventh and gave up just one hit.
Offensively, Brevin Baessler, Johnson and Perez all recorded multiple hits for the Bulldogs. Perez was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Baessler went 2-for-5 and Johnson was 3-for-5 with one RBI. The Bulldogs had a total of nine hits, but struggled to get them when runners were on base. They finished the game stranding seven runners, several of them in scoring position.
"That's the first time I've seen somebody throw over 160 pitches in a game," Bulldogs Head Coach Bryan Moses said as a reference to the workload of the York starting pitcher. "It payed off for them. Great night of baseball."
With the loss, the Bulldogs are now 36-16 of the year. They will try and keep their season alive tomorrow at 3 p.m. when they play an elimination game against the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Eagles, who narrowly squeaked by Kansas Wesleyan University, 1-0, in the opening game of the Tournament.