The McPherson High School baseball team looked like two different teams during their opening day on Tuesday's quad matchup. The Bullpups had an impressive victory over Great Bend High School, 8-4, in game one, but was later shut down in game two against Junction City High School, 12-0. After the quad, the Bullpups are now 1-1 of the year.
McPherson 8 Great Bend 4
The Bullpups set the tone early in the bottom of the first when they scored six runs on the Panthers' starting pitcher Collin Hall. After the Bullpups loaded up the bases, Spencer Whitfield earned a walk which would send Jakob Feil home. Dylan Rinker followed up with a ground ball and a error on second base which gave Gabe Hoover and Honestee Whitkker two more runs. Kourtney Craig and Chandler Wiard added two more, and a ground out from Aidan Hoover.
The Panthers responded with a solo home run by Joey Soupiset in the second inning, and another run in the third inning.
The Bullpups were able to add two more runs in the fourth inning off a Whittker's sacrifice-fly to send two runners home, tying with Rinker with two RBIs in game one.
Wiard started on the mound, where he lasted 2.1 innings. Tanner Cheatham replaced Wiard and came up big as he led the Bullpups with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Feil stepped in as the closer in the final 0.2 inning. Cheatham get his first win as a varsity player.
"In game one, I thought we limited their damages," Bullpups Head Coach Heath Gerstner said. "We could've easily given up a crooked number a couple times there. The guys made plays, and I thought our pitching was pretty good. Not perfect, but first time out, they did a nice job."
McPherson 12 Junction City 0
The Bullpups looked like a whole different team when they faced Junction city. The Blue Jays shut out the Bullpups 12-0 in five innings.
McPherson had no answer for KU commit, Thane McDaniel, as he struck out the Bullpups 11 times.
"The respect of our program state-wide is the reason a guy like that they saved him tonight to see us,” Gerstner said about McDaniel. “I tip my cap to him. I’ve had a chance to coach that kid a couple of times in the summer. He’s a wonderful kid, he’s a wonderful pitcher, he’s going to KU, and I hope he goes and dominates.”
Things never went the Bullpups way the whole night. Bullpups recorded eight errors, and only recorded two hits.
Aidan Hoover struggled on the mound after giving up three straight walks, five runs, three hits and three errors in two innings. Kraig got injured on first base that kept him out the rest of the game. Shane Starkel filled in for Kraig afterwards. Brayden Stout took over for Hoover during the bottom of the second. Gabe Hoover replaced Stout to finish off the game. It was a defensive struggle the whole night Bullpups as the Blue Jays scored at least one run in four of the five innings.
The Bullpups will return to the Grant Complex to take on Winfield High School at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports