McPherson High baseball coach Heath Gerstner is not the biggest fan of Monday games.
But as long as his Bullpups keep sweeping on Mondays, he’s not going to complain.
MHS, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A Division I, returned home on Monday to come away with easy 12-3 and 10-0 victories over Circle to improve to 7-1 on the year.
“Definitely a slow start today. Whether it’s Monday or whatever type of excuse we use probably won’t be good enough for me,” Gerstner said. “We’ve got to be a lot better next Monday. We’ve got Buhler coming to town. We’re excited about this Friday (going to Goddard Eisenhower), but the next four games are going to be a real good test for us.”
For the second straight Monday, MHS pitchers Alex Kalkhorst and Micah McCulley delivered the goods in a big way.
Kalkhorst shook off a rocky first inning to go five innings to get the win in Game 1. He allowed just one hit and fanned 10 before giving away to Raine Reitsma, who whiffed four in his two scoreless innings.
McCulley twirled five scoreless innings for the second game in a row to move to 2-0 as he’s yet to allow a run this season. He fanned seven and walked only one as he was overpowering the T-Birds with a fastball that exceeded 80 miles per hour on the Jugs gun.
Even though his team scored 22 runs on the day, Gerstner still isn’t totally sold on the way it’s swinging the bats as much of its production is coming from “small ball.” Casen Hoover did deliver a three-run double in Game 1 and Kolby Reed placed a perfect two-run single in his only at-bat. Marcus McDaniel was 3 for 3 in Game 2, plus a walk, while Jack Reifschneider furnished two hits and two RBIs out of the 9-hole and had the game’s most exciting play when he stole home.
“I think we can run well, people can see that, but we’re still not consistently swinging the bats like we can,” he said. “Part of that is just getting into the routine of the season and getting our swings in. It’s hard to practice when you’re playing six games in a week.”
Like the varsity, the MHS JVs are 7-1 after an easy sweep.
Game 1 went the Bullpups’ way 9-1 as Zane Myers pitched the first four innings and Garrett Farney finished up. They combined to allow only five hits.
The Bullpups actually were out-hit as they made the most of their three safeties. Jeff Reed scored three runs as MHS took advantage of walks and errors.
The bats came alive in Game 2 as Reed had a monster game with three hits, three runs and three RBIs. Myers added three runs, two hits and two RBIs, while Trey Hanken had two hits and two RBIs. Gabe Hoover added two hits as well. MHS stole 13 bases in the game.
Hanken was the winner and fanned seven, with Chandler Wiard finishing up.
• Game 1 •
MHS (12) — McDaniel 2-2-1-1, Werries 2-2-1-1, Hoover 4-2-2-3, McCulley 4-1-1-1, Loecker 3-0-1-1, Reed 1-0-1-2, Reitsma 1-0-0-0, Schmidt 3-1-1-0, Saverino 3-1-0-0, Kalkhorst 3-0-2-0, Sitts 0-2-0-0, Reifschneider 1-1-0-0.
• Game 2 •
MHS (10) — McDaniel 3-2-3-0, Werries 2-1-1-1, Hoover 3-0-0-1, McCulley 2-1-1-0, Loecker 1-1-0-1, Schmidt 3-2-0-0, Saverino 2-1-1-1, Kalkhorst 1-0-1-0, Sitts 0-1-0-0, Reifschneider 3-1-2-2.