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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Andale shuts out Bullpups in 4A Regional championship

  • The scoreboard may have shown that Andale was advancing to the Class 4A State Tournament, but to McPherson High School coach Craig Marshall, the Bullpups performed beyond all expectations.
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  • The scoreboard may have shown that Andale was advancing to the Class 4A State Tournament, but to McPherson High School coach Craig Marshall, the Bullpups performed beyond all expectations.
    “If you would have told me at the beginning of the year we would have been playing in the regional championship with a chance to go to state, I would have said sign me up,” Marshall said. “I was very pleased with the way the kids improved and progressed.”
    The Bullpups went 1-1 in the Class 4A Regional Wednesday at Grant Sports Complex, winning their semifinal game against Wichita Collegiate 7-4 but falling 10-0 to Andale in five innings in the championship.
    MHS pounded the Spartans in the first two innings. Senior Aaron Elsasser drove in Austin Mitchell to start the scoring with a single to left field in the first.
    The Pups then poured on six in the second inning. Elsasser again came up big with a two-RBI double to center field.
    Freshman Brodie Burney then added his own two-RBI double to left field that gave McPherson their seven runs.
    Collegiate got on the scoreboard in the fourth and tried to make a rally in the sixth, where the Spartans scored three. Bullpup pitcher Micah McCulley stepped up, though, striking out four of the last five batters he faced.
    “I could not have been more pleased with the effort (McCulley) gave us,” Marshall said. “In a win or go home situation, he was very, very solid for us and just didn’t seem to let the moment effect him at all.”
    McCulley finished with nine strike outs and gave up four runs on six hits. Elsasser led the Bullpups with three RBI’s off 2-for-3 hitting. Burney had two RBI’s.
    The Pups turned around and had to face the Regional No. 1 seed Andale, who was coming off a no-hitter against Smoky Valley in the other semifinal game at Grant. The Indians defeated the Vikings 10-0 in six innings to advance.
    For the four innings, it looked like history was going to repeat, as Andale junior Tyler Jones had another no-hitter going and had struck out six MHS batters over the first three innings.
    Burney broke up the no-hitter, however, in the fourth with a single to left field. It was the only hit McPherson managed against an Andale team that sported nine total seniors.
    “Andale is tremendous,” Marshall said. “They were the team to beat, all the pressure was on them. They expected to come here and win, and they did.”
    Junior Alex Ruxlow, who had pitched brilliantly Monday against Kingman, was largely ineffective against Andale Wednesday. Marshall admitted he needed another day or two to rest up after the six-inning performance Monday.
    Page 2 of 2 - He gave up eight runs on eight hits in the loss.
    With the season now done for McPherson (9-14), Marshall turns his attention to the summer American Legion season and next year’s Bullpup team.
    “Summer’s going to be a lot of fun because there’s going to be a lot of competition,” Marshall said.
    “Guys are going to have an opportunity to get better. We’ve got some depth now; we haven’t had in the first three years here. All of our top pitchers are returning and that’s a huge bonus if you can return experienced arms.”
    Andale moves onto the Class 4A State Tournament next Thursday and Friday in Salina. Tournament games will be played at Dean Evans Stadium.

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