McPherson High School overcame a few, first-game jitters Thursday night to earn a split with Rose Hill to open up the 2014 campaign.

McPherson High School overcame a few, first-game jitters Thursday night to earn a split with Rose Hill to open up the 2014 campaign.
The Bullpups dropped game one 9-3, but turned around and won game two 6-3, giving first-year head coach Steve Williams a 1-1 mark to start his inaugral season.
Game one was actually fairly close up until the fourth inning, as the Bullpups only trailed the Rockets 2-1. A misplayed ball, however, allowed Rose Hill to play a pair in the bottom of the frame. They then kicked open the barn doors in the fifth inning to out-distance McPherson for the 9-3 win.
The Bullpups scored first in the opening inning, thanks to three walks from Rose Hill. MHS, in fact, only picked up their first hit of the game in the third, thanks to Brodie Burney.
McPherson’s first run came in the fourth, which was set up by a lead-off single from Alex Ruxlow, who took the loss on the mound. Cody Starkel nailed a one-out double in the top of the seventh, which set up a 2-run home run from Micah McCulley that gave the Pups a spark.
In total, MHS picked up three runs off six hits, while leaving 13 on base and committing four errors. As a whole, Bullpup batters struck out seven times, which Williams felt was a key reason for the loss.
“We didn’t swing the bat really well,” Williams said. “We looked a little tentative, which is to be expected from the first game.”
The Pups settled down in game two, however, as McCulley took the mound and mowed down Rose Hill batters for the complete-game win, allowing only three runs on three hits, with all the runs credited as unearned.
McPherson picked up their six runs off five hits, with the scoring starting in the second inning off a Starkel single. Ruxlow then drove in a run with runners at second and third. Senior Logan Schrag then belted a double to the gap in center that scored one more run.
Burney then drove in Marcus McDaniel to end the second after McDaniel advanced to second on a fielder’s choice.
Schrag would also drive in Ruxlow in the fourth inning.
While the offense picked up in game two, Williams felt the defense regressed slightly.
“Defensively, we were a little shoddy,” Williams said. “Our pitching went very well. Both Micah and Alex had very good days on the mound.”
In the JV game, the Pups also split those contests with the Rockets, with Rose Hill winning game one 6-3, while MHS won game two also by a score of 6-3.
Full stats were unavailable at press time.
McPherson, who also moved to 1-1 in the AVCTL Division III, will next face Andale in another road contest Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. The first home game for the Pups is April 10 against Circle.

Contact Chris Swick by email @cswick@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.