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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Post 24 15Us leave 11 on base, fall twice in Next Level tourney

  • While the weather has played havoc with the scheduling of the Hutchinson Next Level College Showcase, forcing teams to not only reschedule games but shuffle locations on several occasions, one thing has remained constant for the McPherson American Legion 15Us.
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  • While the weather has played havoc with the scheduling of the Hutchinson Next Level College Showcase, forcing teams to not only reschedule games but shuffle locations on several occasions, one thing has remained constant for the McPherson American Legion 15Us.
    Post 24 is playing against older, most physically developed players, as they are part of the 16U division, so for head coach Rob Reitsma the goal is to simply improve by playing the teams they face off with in the showcase.
    McPherson (0-3) has seen some tough competition in the first two days of the tournament, as they fell 5-2 to the Sedgwick Storm Thursday, then dropped a 5-3 decision to Manhattan’s Midwest Stix Friday in the early contest. They also fell to the Wichita Rawlings Reds 8-4 in the 5:15 p.m. 16U game at Grant Sports Complex.
    Against the Stix, Post 24 got down early 4-0, but battled back in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 5-3. Mikey Saverino kicked off the inning with a solid single to right-center field, and McPherson was able to claw back into the game with some patient base-running after loading up the bases with walks.
    Saverino finished the game with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate.
    “These guys love to battle back,” Reitsma said. “That’s one thing about these guys. They battle. They’re good kids.”
    The 90 minute time limit on all tournament games expired before they could extend the rally any farther.
    Casen Hoover took the loss against the Stix, going all five innings.
    Against the Reds, McPherson again found themselves behind the eight ball, as they were down 5-1 entering the fourth inning. Alex Sitts and Paxton Leaf both walked on back-to-back appearances, followed by a blooper to short from Jeffery Reed that was misplayed, loading up the bases for Tyler Miller.
    Miller hit a solid grounder to first base that went into the outfield and scored both Sitts and Leaf. Jack Reifschneider then drove in Reed on a grounder to the Wichita pitcher.
    Unfortunately, time was again a factor for any comeback attempt, as Post 24 left seven players on base against Wichita and 11 total for the day.
    “That’s been every game so far,” Reitsma said. “We’ve had at least two or three times we’ve had the bases loaded, but just couldn’t get that key hit, key something.”
    The stranded runners was a topic of discussion between the coaching staff and players following the Wichita loss.
    “I told them they’ve got to put the ball in play,” Reitsma said. “They’ve got to start being more selective about what they swing [at] than letting those nice strikes go.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Miller led Post 24 with the two RBIs. Miller, Hoover, Sitts, Leaf and Reed all had one hit, each, for McPherson.
    Alex Kalkhorst took the loss.
    McPherson has one last chance to get a win in the tournament, as they will face the ABA 16 Prospects this afternoon at 1:45 p.m. at Hutchinson’s Rice Park.
    Contact Chris Swick by email at cswick@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.

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