Jordon Bolt took one for the team.
Given the current thinness of the McPherson Pipeliners’ pitching staff and a huge stretch of games coming up, Bolt was extended into the sixth inning here Tuesday night against the Clearwater Outlaws.
While he displayed a quality fastball, he also struggled with the strike zone. He wound up fanning 10, but walked 11 and hit one, before leaving with the Pipeliners down 9-1.
The Outlaws wound up defeating the Pipeliners for a third straight time, 12-2, but at least Bolt saved the bullpen somewhat with his yeoman effort.
Bolt kept the Liners in the game for five innings, as they trailed only 4-0. Oddly enough, the Outlaws had only one hit during that time, a three-run homer by Pete Schearer.
But Bolt wearied in the sixth and the Outlaws scored five times before adding three in the seventh to end the game by the run rule for the second straight night as the teams have played four times since Friday. Clearwater now leads the season series 3-2 as the Liners fell to 6-14, with 12 losses in their last 14 games.
“He can be really good,” McPherson coach Chris Dawson said of Bolt. “He’s just got to be able to attack the zone. Hats off to him. We probably threw him longer than we wanted. We knew coming in with some circumstances that we were going to have to have him eat some innings tonight.”
And the Pipeliners didn’t give him much offensive support.
“The last couple of days our offense has stopped hitting,” Dawson said. “Pitching-wise it’s the same story, different night. Just can’t find the zone.”
Amazingly, the Pipeliners out-hit the Outlaws 5-4, but Clearwater pitchers walked only three, two of those back-to-back in the sixth.
Josh Clyden drove in McPherson’s first run when he singled in Chris Sanchez as the two Central Christian College players teamed up.
McPherson is back home again tonight to take on the Kansas Cannons at 7:00. The teams have played two games in Augusta this year, with the Cannons winning both by a run. In their most recent meeting, the Cannons scored five times in the ninth for a come-from-behind 6-5 win.
McPherson (2) — Arroyo 3-0-1-0, Viloria 0-0-0-0, Hunt 4-1-1-0, Brown 3-0-1-0, Selco 3-0-0-0, Zavaleta 3-0-0-0, Sanchez 2-1-1-0, Yackovich 2-0-0-1, Plunkett 2-0-0-0, Clyden 3-0-1-1.