Bullpup 18s go 2-1 in Hooper Showcase

By Steve Sell
June 24, 2019

The McPherson Bullpups 18U baseball team went 2-1 in the annual Bob Hooper Classic Showcase before rain forced the tournament to be halted on Saturday and washed out on Sunday.

The Bullpups opened with a 13-3 rout of the Wichita Aviators, even though they were held to three hits as walks and errors helped the team's cause.

"We took advantage of some inconsistent pitching from the Aviators in Game 1," McPherson coach Matt McCasland said. "We struggled a bit offensively, but we took advantage of their mistakes."

Aiden Hoover collected two of the three hits, the other being a double by Dylan Rinker, who drove in three runs. Bruster Bengtson went the distance for the win.

In Game 2, the bats were cooled by the Enid Majors of Oklahoma, 5-2. Jaytin Gumm recorded two of McPherson's five hits. Rinker took the loss and Jakob Feil also dealt and allowed no earned runs.

"We ran into a good team in Game 2," McCasland said. "They had a lot of age and experience on us, but our guys battled and really competed well. For our younger guys, this was the first time they were exposed to mid-upper 80s velocity. As a staff we love this. We want our young guys to see this level of competition as much as possible. We definitely got better as a group."

Saturday's game was moved to McPherson College and the Bullpups defeated Hutchinson, 8-6. Collin Pearson was 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs, while Brandon Malm had two hits and two RBIs. Hunter Alvord chipped in with two hits, while Feil had a triple and Malm laced a double. Tucker Pelnar contributed two RBIs.

Hoover pitched six innings and allowed no earned runs before Hutchinson scored five runs in the final inning against the bullpen, aided by seven walks. Alvord finally came in and nailed it down.

"Aidan Hoover gave his best start of the summer on the mound," McCasland said. "He got off to a shaky start in the first, but rebounded well and gave us quality start. He was locating three pitches well, and he really kept their hitters off balance. We had a huge letdown after putting up a big number in the seventh. It took us three pitchers to get through the inning, and I don't think we gave up a single hit."

The 18s are now 8-4 on the year and begin competition Thursday in the Salina Grand Slam.

• Vs. Wichita Aviators •

McPherson (13) — Hoover 2-2-2-1, Gumm 2-2-0-0, Alvord 2-2-0-1, Malm 3-0-0-1, Pearson 2-2-0-1, Rinker 2-1-1-3, Feil 1-2-0-0, McCartney 0-1-0-1, Miller 1-1-0-1, Bengtson 0-0-0-0.

• Vs. Enid •

McPherson (2) — Hoover 3-1-1-0, Gumm 3-0-2-0, Alvord 3-0-1-0, Rinker 3-0-0-1, Malm 3-0-0-0, Pearson 2-1-0-0, Feil 2-0-0-0, McCartney 2-0-0-0, Miller 2-0-1-1, Bengtson 0-0-0-0, Tu. Pelnar 0-0-0-0.

• Vs. Hutchinson •

McPherson (8) — Gumm 5-0-0-0, Hoover 4-1-1-0, Alvord 3-1-2-0, Rinker 3-1-1-0, Malm 4-1-2-2, Feil 2-2-1-0, Pearson 4-2-3-2, McCartney 3-0-1-1, Tu. Pelnar 4-0-1-2, Bengtson 0-0-0-0.