The Pipeliners’ losing streak reached seven on Saturday at Light Capital Diamond with a 5-3 loss to nemesis Clearwater, but McPherson manager Caleb Hartman had no complaints.
Pipeliners pitcher Harry Park threw a strong 7 1/3 innings and was a victim of some bad luck in what was a well-played game by both teams.
“Harry did well, everybody did extremely well,” said Hartman, whose team is now 7-17 in the Kansas Collegiate League Baseball and 9-18 overall. “It was a fun game to be a part of. I’m proud of the guys. The outcome wasn’t in our favor, but it was one of those games that definitely helps morale.”
Park’s first bad luck occurred in the second inning. After the first batter reached on a single, he induced what appeared to be a tailor-made doubleplay ground ball, but it was booted. Instead of two out and nobody on, the Outlaws strung together three hits to score three runs.
He gave up another run in the third before throwing zeroes into the eighth. In that inning, Park thought he had strike three on leadoff hitter Jake Pearson, but the pitch was deemed just off the plate. He then served up a homer for the final run of the game.
Park fanned 10 in his stint and Ethan Wilson worked around a jam in the eighth and threw a solid ninth as both pitchers threw well enough to win.
It was a frustrating night offensively as the Liners three times left a runner on third base when the inning was concluded. Also, they continued to make outs on fly balls with 10, most of them infield popups.
“Again, second game in a row with just untimely hitting,” Hartman said. “Ten left on. You can win ballgames with 10 left on.”
Cody Carpenter, newcomer Andrew Black and Carson Davis all drove in a run for McPherson, which had nine hits in the game. Carpenter and Eric Gutierrez led the way with two apiece.
Clearwater is still the one team the Pipeliners have not defeated this year.
McPherson is right back at it tonight hosting the Valley Center Mud Daubers at 7 p.m. The teams played here on the 4th of July with Valley Center a 5-1 winner.