McPHERSON – Kansas Wesleyan Baseball bounced back from a loss to York earlier in the week to take both ends of a doubleheader from No. 23 ranked McPherson on Saturday at Bulldog Park to guarantee a win in the season series. The Coyotes won the opener 11-3 and the second game 4-3.
The wins improved the Coyotes to 29-14 overall and 21-8 overall. The 21 conference wins ties the school record set three previous times in 2001 (21-3), 2009 (21-3) and 2011 (21-7). The 29 overall wins is also the most for the Coyotes since going 32-25 in 2016.
The Coyotes took an early 1-0 lead in the first game on Dalton Bishop (JR/Colorado Springs, Colo.)’s solo homer in the second inning.
McPherson took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning with a pair of runs.
No one scored until the sixth when the Coyotes plated two. After Josh Sandoval (SR/Glendale, Ariz.) reached on a fielder’s choice and Austin Cross (JR/Montgomery, Texas) singled, Dalton Whitaker (SR/Edmond, Okla.) doubled both runs in to put the Coyotes back on top 3-2.
Wesleyan blew the game open in the seventh, taking advantage of a McPherson error on the way to scoring three runs in the inning. William Dryburgh (SO/St. Joseph, Mo.) was hit and Haydn Brown (SR/Gardnerville, Nev.) singled. Two batters later Sandoval reached on an error that brought in both runs. Dalton Bishop then singled and Cross drove in the third run with a sacrifice fly.
The Coyotes loaded the bases in the top of the 8th as Reece Bishop (FR/Colorado Springs, Colo.) led off with a double, Sisipako Vehikite (JR/Santa Clara, Calif.) singled and Dryburgh walked. Three batters later, Sandoval promptly unloaded the bases with a 3-run triple.
The Coyotes added two more in the ninth as Cross led off with a walk and the scored on Tristan Devane (FR/Frostproof, Fla.)s single. Dryburgh added a RBI double that scored pinch runner Nolan Maldonado (JR/Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.).
The Coyotes had 15 hits in the game led by three from Dryburgh. Trent Dewyer (JR/Albuquerque, N.M.) got the win on the hill, allowing three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts in six and two-thirds. Ethan Wilson (JR/Thackerville, Okla.) closed it out holding McPherson without a hit in two and a third.
Everything changed on one swing of the bat in the second game, by Dalton Whitaker.
McPherson had a 2-0 lead after scoring single runs in the first and third inning, but things changed in the top of the fourth.
Brown led off the frame with a single, followed by a single by Trey Lopez (SR/Burlington, Wash.), and then three batters later, Cross reached on a walk to load them up for Whitaker. Whitaker would crush a 1-1 pitch out to left field for the grand slam to put KWU up 4-2.
Wesleyan loaded them again in the fifth, but could not get another run across.
Leading by two runs heading into the bottom of the sixth, Branden Voytko (JR/El Paso, Texas) entered and went two innings for the save, his ninth, only allowing a run in the seventh.
Dryburgh, Lopez and Whitaker had two hits each. Whitaker drove in four runs. Kaden Sitzman (SR/McCook, Neb.), the reigning KCAC Pitcher of the Week, was solid again, getting the win in five innings of work, allowing two runs and striking out eight.
The teams will conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Bulldog Park.