The McPherson Summer Bullpups came up short in their attempt to get back to the .500 mark for the season on Tuesday, losing a 9-7 decision to the Wichita Aviators at Grant Complex.
Down 8-1 after 6 1/2 innings, the Bullpups made a game of it by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh, then charged in the ninth with three more runs before the rally ran out of steam.
Wichita scored its four runs in the seventh on a grand slam, which turned a 4-1 game into a seemingly comfortable 8-1 lead.
“The grand slam in the seventh sunk us in the end,” said McPherson coach Matt McCasland, whose team is now 11-13 on the year. “We committed back-to-back errors to start off the inning. Anytime you start an inning like that, it is going to end bad.”
But the Bullpups showed some grit, which McCasland was pleased to see.
“Overall it was a very competitive game,” he said. “Our pitchers were efficient on the mound and despite falling behind we never stopped competing. They were able to capitalize on their chances and turn them into big innings. We had a bases-loaded opportunity early in the game and couldn't capitalize only scoring one run.”
Devin Feil was 3 for 4 with three RBIs to lead the McPherson offense. Chandler Wiard had two hits and two RBIs and Kourtney Craig laced two hits and scored two runs.
Shane Starkel started on the hill, while Garrett Farney worked four innings, allowing only two earned runs. Dylan Rinker finished up, allowing just one run.
McPherson is scheduled to host Buhler on Tuesday.
McPherson (7) — J. Feil 3-1-0-0, Farney 4-1-1-0, Craig 3-2-2-0, D. Feil 5-2-3-3, Wiard 5-0-2-2, Rinker 4-0-1-0, Starkel 4-0-0-0, Eilts 2-0-0-0, Shetler 3-0-0-0, Stout 3-1-1-0.