For McPherson Post 24, there would be no second miracle comeback through the loser’s bracket.

For McPherson Post 24, there would be no second miracle comeback through the loser’s bracket.
McPherson kept alive in the American Legion Junior Midwest Regional Tournament Friday night with a spectacular 10-0 beat down of host Geiger Ready Mix out of Leavenworth, thanks to the combined efforts of Cody Starkel and Casen Hoover on the mound.
The duo teamed for a no-hitter Friday, allowing only five total baserunners, all coming from walks. Post 24 showed the resiliency they displayed only a week earlier in the same Sports Field Complex in winning Kansas Class A state championship, as they had dropped a 5-2 decision to Jackson, Missouri, earlier Friday afternoon.
Unfortunately, McPherson came up just short of staying alive Saturday, as they fell to eventual runners-up Rapid City, South Dakota, 6-5.
Against Geiger Ready Mix Friday, Starkel was not only a force on the mound, he helped drive the offense, as well. Starkel went 2-for-2 with three RBIs. In fact, all three runs came off a triple in the bottom of the third that capped an eight-run third inning for McPherson.
Starkel started and went the first three innings of the win on the mound, facing 11 batters and striking out five.
Hoover went the final two innings and struck out two of the seven batters he faced.
Against Rapid City, McPherson was down 5-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, when Post 24 put on the rally caps and clawed their way back into with a four-run showing.
Micah McCulley walked with the bases loaded to trigger the comeback. Kolby Reed followed with a two-run shot to center field and Caleb Schmidt tied it at 5-5 with a grounder to short stop.
Unfortunately, the Expos snapped the tie in the top of the seventh and McPherson was retired in order in the bottom of the frame.
Schmidt took the loss in relief of starter Jack Reifschneider. Schmidt went the final four innings and gave up four runs, one earned, on eight hits and three walks. He struck out two.
Reifschneider went three innings and had one earned run on three hits and a walk.
Schmidt had a 2-for-4 showing at the plate with two RBIs. Hoover and Reed both also finished with two hits., with Reed also contributing two RBIs.
Rapid City followed up the win over McPherson with an 11-5 drubbing of Minnetonka, Minnesota, to put them in the championship game against Jackson.
Rapid City almost pulled off the same feat McPherson had in the Kansas state championship, as they lost their tournament opener on Thursday and came back to win five straight, including a 2-1 win over the Missouri state champs in the first championship game Sunday.
Jackson responded with a 5-0 shutout in the final championship game Sunday.
McPherson, who went 2-2 in the Midwest Regional, finished the season with a tremendous mark of 30-9.

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