No. 1 Bullpups split with No. 4 Rockets

By Steve Sell
April 01, 2016
Kendall Shaw

ROSE HILL — Earlier in the day Thursday, the McPherson High baseball team learned it was the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A Division I.

It promptly went out and lost a 1-0 decision to Rose Hill, which was hardly an upset considering the Rockets were No. 4 in the same poll.

The Bullpups dusted themselves off to come back for a 5-3 victory in Game 2 to earn a split and move their record to 5-1.

“Game 1 was a really great high school baseball game,” MHS coach Heath Gerstner said. “Game 2 was a great win and I thought it was a great start for Jack (Reifschneider). But more importantly everybody contributed.”

The first game was a classic pitching duel between MHS’ Caleb Schmidt and Rose Hill’s Griffin McBride. It was 0-0 before the Rockets pushed across an unearned run in the sixth inning.

“Caleb had multiple pitches working and we played good defense behind him,” Gerstner said. “We hit some balls hard and had a few opportunities.”

MHS was held to three hits by McBride, one of them a double by Micah McCulley. McBride fanned five and walked only one.

The Bullpups jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Game 2 with Jacob Loecker coming up with the big hit. MHS was up 5-0 after 5 1/2 innings and Reifschneider had a no-hitter going into the sixth before tiring and giving up two hits. Marcus McDaniel came on to earn the save.

Loecker had two hits and two RBIs as the McPherson bats never quite warmed up in the cool conditions.

The MHS JVs had no trouble in moving to 5-1 on the year.

In Game 1, MHS scored its 14 runs in three innings, as starter Raine Reitsma gave up only one hit in the 14-0 wipeout. Wyatt Seidl and Trey Hanken slammed homers and Seidl finished with five RBIs. Hanken scored three and drove in two. 

MHS scored in all but one inning of Game 2, a 13-5 breeze. Seidl had three more RBIs to give him eight on the day. Zane Myers and Shane Starkel had two his apiece, with Starkel driving in two. Honestee Whittker was the winner. Gunnar Reiss recorded three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings of relief.

MHS is home on Monday to take on Circle.

• Game 1 •

MHS (0) — McDaniel 3-0-1-0, Schmidt 3-0-0-0, Hoover 3-0-0-0, Loecker 3-0-0-0, McCulley 3-0-1-0, Werries 3-0-0-0, Kalkhorst 2-0-0-0, Saverino 2-0-1-0, Reifschneider 1-0-0-0, Reed 0-0-0-0.

• Game 2 •

MHS (5) — McDaniel 4-1-1-1, Werries 3-1-1-1, Hoover 3-0-0-0, McCulley 3-0-0-0, Loecker 3-1-2-2, Schmidt 3-0-1-1, Saverino 3-0-0-0, Kalkhorst 2-0-0-0, Sitts 0-1-0-0, Reed 2-1-0-0, Reifschneider 0-0-0-0.