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Baseball Bulldogs Drop Two of Three at Avila


KANSAS CITY, Mo. ( — The McPherson College Bulldogs won game three of the series against Avila University after narrowly falling to the Eagles in both contests on Friday in Kansas City, Mo.

GAME ONE – Avila 11, McPherson 7


The Bulldogs found themselves in a hole in the third inning after Paxton Andrade walked with the bases loaded to make it a 1-0 Avila lead. Then a grand slam by JJ Stubblefield cleared the bases and put the Eagles on top 5-0.

A sacrifice fly by Jorge Olivo briefly brought the Bulldogs back to life in the fourth inning, but homers by Landon Vahle and Zach Dillman in the next half-inning pushed the Avila lead to 8-1. The Eagles added one more in the fourth.

A solo shot by Peyton Starr in the fifth followed by a two-run blast by Olivo pulled the Bulldogs within 9-4 in the top of the sixth, but Dillman answered with a two-run single to centerfield.

The Bulldogs tried to spark the comeback in the eighth thanks to an RBI triple by Jace Essig followed by a single by Olivo, but were unable to generate enough offense late.

Starr, Essig, and Olivo each finished with two hits apiece, while Olivo drove in four runs for the Bulldogs.

GAME TWO – Avila 8, McPherson 7 (8 innings)


In the nightcap of the doubleheader, the Bulldogs again found themselves trailing early after the Eagles plated three runs in the bottom of the first.

But this time the Bulldogs would answer with a six-run second inning to grab a 6-3 lead. JT Edmunds got the inning going with a triple down the left field line to bring Dawson Walters around to score, then a triple to left center by Essig scored Edmunds.

Luke Nordean joined in with a two-run blast, before the Bulldogs loaded the bases. Walters drove in a pair with a double to right center.

However, the Bulldogs weren’t the only ones who could answer, as the Eagles added four in the bottom half of the second inning to regain the lead 7-6.

Colin Evers scored on a wild pitch in the third inning to level the score, and that would hold until the bottom of the eighth, when Bryce Culp hit a walk-off single down the left field line to give the Eagles the win.

Walters finished with three hits and two RBIs, while Edmunds and Starr added two hits apiece. Nordean finished game two with a pair of RBIs.

GAME THREE – McPherson 15, Avila 8


The Eagles again grabbed an early lead in game three, scoring three in the first. MC scored in the top of the second thanks to an error by the Eagles, but Avila added one in the bottom half of the inning to make it a 4-1 lead.

Evers pulled the Bulldogs within 4-3 with a two-run shot in the top of the third, but the Eagles answered with a two-run third inning.

From there, the Bulldogs took control after Evan Morrison hit a two-run homer of his own. Another error by the Eagles allowed Essig to score in the fifth to knot the score.

Avila regained the lead one last time in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single up the middle by Andrade, but the Bulldogs scored nine unanswered runs to take a 15-7 advantage.

Kai Torres sparked the offensive burst with a solo homer in the seventh, then the Bulldogs loaded the bases. Starr drew a walk, bringing Essig home. Walters hit a grand slam in the next at-bat to put the Bulldogs on top 12-7.

MC added one more in the eighth before Torres launched his second homer of the game in the ninth, this one a two-run blast.

Torres finished 4-for-5 at the plate with three RBIs, while Walters finished with a team-high four RBIs. Hayden Casey threw four innings with five strikeouts.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Friday (Apr. 5) in Winfield, Kan., opening a three-game set with Southwestern. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.