By Tyler Norris
The McPherson College baseball team has caught fire early on in the season. The Bulldogs opened their 2019 season by traveling down to Oklahoma City to square off against Mid-America Christian University. McPherson was able to get three starts out of Garrett Ham, Dylan Marble , and Garrett Connor. Both Ham and Connor would pick up wins for their team in a four game series. The next series for the Bulldogs was set for a four game home stand against Viterbo University; however, the weather in McPherson prevented the games from being played.
The Bulldogs hit the road again for Hobbs, New Mexico for a series against the University of the Southwest. The Bulldogs dropped the first game of the series, the McPherson offense was shut down by the Mustangs starting pitcher who would go on to throw a complete game in the win. The Bulldog offense would spring back to life in game two of the series, scoring 3 runs on 7 hits. The backbone of the McPherson offense was provided by Mark Strebin who went two for three at the plate with two doubles as well as two RBI. The Bulldogs took the next two games against the Mustangs taking the series behind an outstanding start by Josh Lewis in game four of the series, sealing the deal for the Bulldogs. Heading home on a two game win streak, the Bulldogs were expected to play their home opener against non-conference rival Central Christian College. However, weather conditions pushed the game back from Tuesday to Wednesday, February 13. The weather, again, played factor for the weekend conference series against the Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan University, forcing the games to be moved up to Wednesday the 13th, and Thursday the 14th, scratching the game against Central Christian. Wet field conditions at Kansas Wesleyan moved the games to McPherson where the Coyotes still acted as the home team in the contest. The Bulldogs would send Garrett Ham to the mound once again on three days’ rest. McPherson dominated this game, scoring 9 runs on 15 hits. Game two of the series proved to be a thriller, lasting 13 innings with the Bulldogs pulling out the win. Jarrod Manick came into the game in the 9th inning with the game tied and went 4 scoreless innings, surrendering only two hits; Manick was credited the win. The Bulldogs won the game 12-9 in 13 innings. Game three of the series is postponed to a later date due to time constraint. The McPherson Bulldogs will welcome No.9 Oklahoma Wesleyan University next weekend at Bulldog Park looking to extend their current streak of five wins.