OMAHA, NEB.—The 2018 McPherson Summer Bullpups go on the road for a four-day, minimum five-game road trip to Omaha, Nebraska starting on Thursday, June 14 for the ‘Battle of Omaha’ Baseball Tournament. The tournament will play round-robin style Thursday and Friday before crossing over into another division on Saturday and then ending on Sunday with the division finals and the tournament championship.
Forty teams will be playing in the tournament at eight different venues in Omaha. The tournament is split up into the National and American League, then into four divisions in each league with the Summer Bullpups playing in the American League – Omaha Bryan Division. Also playing in the Omaha Bryan Division will be Omaha Bryan, Edwardsville, Climber BB and Norris.
According to McPherson head coach Matt McCasland, “We will be playing five games in just three days, with a chance to play more on Sunday. We will face some tough competition up there, and we will have our work cut out for us. However, I am very excited about this opportunity for our players to get better and have a bonding experience with their teammates.”
Going into the Omaha tournament, the Summer Bullpups are 3-4 for the season, though after opening the season with three straight victories over Manhattan and Augusta they have been swept in back-to-back doubleheaders with Salina and Hutchinson.
“Our greatest strength thus far this season has been our offense,” McCasland noted. “We have been scoring more than enough runs to win games.”
When asked about the four losses, McCasland finished his coach reflections by adding, “Our greatest struggle thus far has been pitching. We graduated a few arms this spring and now we need younger guys to step up and take the mantle on the mound. Over the past four games we have really struggled to throw strikes, as we had double digit walks against Hutchinson as well as multiple hit batters. This ultimately led to defeat in both games.”
According to statistics from the website game changer, Jakob Feil is the current offensive leader as he is carrying a .550 batting average while getting three doubles, eight runs batted in, five stolen bases and has scored ten runs. Garrett Farney is hitting at a .545 clip, while both Brett Eilts and Zane Myers are hitting right at .400. Shane Starkel is the team leader in runs batted in with 10.
As Coach McCasland had stated, the pitching mound is where the work needs to be done as the Summer Bullpup throwers have recorded 33 walks and nine hits batsmen in just 38 innings of play. Dylan Rinker has the best ERA at just 1.313 in 5.1 innings pitches, while Chandler Wiard is the team leader in strikeouts with nine.
After the tournament in Omaha, the Summer Bullpups will be off until they host the four-day Bob Hooper Showcase beginning on Thursday, June 21.
Summer Bullpups Schedule in Omaha:
Thursday, June 14 – play division games at 1:00 p.m. vs. Climber BB, then again at 3:30 p.m. vs. Norris (both games played at Omaha Bryan Field).
Friday, June 15 – play division games at 3:30 p.m. vs. Edwardsville, then again at 6:00 p.m. vs. Omaha Bryan (both games played at Omaha Bryan Field).
Saturday, June 16 – play at 1:00 p.m. vs. Omaha Northwest in a cross-over game played at Omaha Northwest Field.
Sunday, June 16 – If the Bullpups win their division they will play at 8:30 a.m. vs. the winner of the Omaha Northwest division winner. If they win that they would then play for the American League Championship at 1:30 p.m.
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