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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • McPherson Legion sweeps Salina Hawks

  • After a disappointing outing Tuesday against Newton, McPherson Post 24 bounced back in a big way Wednesday, giving one of their own a fitting send-off in the process.
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  • After a disappointing outing Tuesday against Newton, McPherson Post 24 bounced back in a big way Wednesday, giving one of their own a fitting send-off in the process.
    McPherson’s Griffin Myers will turn 18 prior to the start of the Class A Zone Tournament Tuesday in Hays, which makes him no longer eligible to play for the American Legion team.
    Myers and his teammates made sure he went out on a high note, however, as the blistered the Salina Hawks for 11 runs on eight hits in game one of a doubleheader Wednesday at Grant Sports Complex.
    Myers, himself, pitched a one-hitter, allowing also only one walk and striking out one in picking up the complete-game win.
    He also scored two runs and stole two bases in the winning effort.
    For the night, Myers had three total stolen bases and scored three runs.
    “Griffin Myers had a good year,” Post 24 coach Tony Schmidt said following game two’s 10-2 run-rule win. “He does so many little things right all the time. He very seldom makes a mistake. We’ll miss him. He’s a good kid.”
    What McPherson (19-6) will miss the most out of Myers is his versatility.
    “You can put him anywhere,” Schmidt said. “He hits well, he bunts well. He sets the example, as far as work. He may not be the most gifted athlete, but he makes up for it with his brains. He’s a smart kid.”
    Salina scored their one run in the top of the first of game one, but it was all McPherson from there on out, as they erupted for six in the bottom of the opening frame.
    Post 24 added three in the second and Cody Starkel bombed a two-RBI single to center field that gave the Legion the walk-off win in the bottom of the fourth.
    Starkel and Caleb Schmidt led the team with two hits, each, while the duo and Jack Reifschneider had two RBIs apiece.
    Salina was rallying in game two in the third inning, as they scored two runs to cut into a 3-0 McPherson advantage.
    Post 24 responded with seven unanswered runs and claimed the run-rule victory again in walk-off fashion thanks to Starkel, who tripled to center field and drove in the 10th run.
    Starkel finished 2-for-2 in the game and 4-for-6 on the night. He had the one RBI in game two and scored twice.
    Schmidt had a 2-for-2 game two with two RBIs. Jacob Loecker had a two-RBI in the bottom of the first inning.
    Starkel also picked up the win on the mound, as he went all five innings and gave up the two runs on only three hits and one walk. He struck out eight.
    Page 2 of 2 - “He did that for us in Alma, too,” Tony Schmidt said. “He came in and saved us pitching. He can pitch, he just doesn’t have the opportunity all the time.”
    McPherson will end the regular season having won 14 of their last 16 games and will have nearly a full week off to recoup before the zone tournament next week in Hays, the timing of which comes as a blessing for Schmidt, who had several players banged up or under the weather against Salina.
    Fortunately for Post 24, they’ve already seen two-thirds of their competition already this summer, as Great Bend and Salina will join McPherson and Hays in the zone tournament. Play begins Tuesday in Hays at noon and 2:30 p.m., with seedings and pairings to be announced by this weekend.
    The tournament is double elimination, with games going into at least Wednesday, with a elimination game possible on Thursday, should the need arise.
    McPherson has swept both Great Bend July 2 and Salina Wednesday.
    “I think [Salina] split with Hays and I think Great Bend split with Hays, too,” Schmidt said. “I like our chances.”
    Contact Chris Swick by email at cswick@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.

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