Perhaps the two rarest occurrences in baseball are a straight steal of home and a no-hitter.
McPherson High’s baseball team accomplished both on Thursday.
In the same game, no less.
In Game 2 of a doubleheader with El Dorado on Senior Night at Grant Complex, Jacob Loecker’s mad dash to the plate unnerved the Wildcats, who at the time were in the game. However, they never settled down emotionally from the theft.
MHS pitcher Jack Reifschneider took care of the rest, spinning a six-inning no-hitter as the Bullpups were a 10-0 winner, that after a 12-5 first-game victory.
MHS is now 10-2 in league play and in first place after entering the day tied with Buhler and El Dorado in the loss column. Buhler split with Rose Hill on Thursday.
Loecker’s steal of home actually was the second of the day for the Bullpups, as Marcus McDaniel had pulled off the feat earlier in Game 1.
“I really thought the game was over right then,” MHS coach Heath Gerstner said of Loecker’s steal of home. “We want to be that energetic, we want to play that aggressive all the time. To steal home two times in one night, you never think that can happen. We just want to play like our hair is on fire.”
Reifschneider was the other big story. His pitch count was piling up and it was borderline for one more inning after he had worked six. But when the Bullpups scored five in the sixth to end the game, the decision was moot.
“We were going to bring him back out,” Gerstner said. “He felt good. It’s probably one of those things if he had given up a hit, he was done. He had a lot of walks, but he’s really good when he’s placing his fastball. He was really spotting his fastball tonight.”
The MHS offense, rather sleepy last week against Buhler, was much more in tune. In Game 1, McDaniel, Casen Hoover and Alex Kalkhorst all had three hits and Dylan Werries drove in three runs. McDaniel and Kalkhorst had two hits in Game 2, with Kalkhorst and Hoover driving in two. The game ended when senior Ryan Eilts was plunked with a pitch with the basese loaded.
The only downer of the night was Caleb Schmidt having to leave after the second inning after fouling a pitch off his foot. He had pitched the first two innings. Micah McCully came on and was credited with the win, with Werries and Caleb Giddings finishing up.
MHS, which is now 11-3 overall, has a huge contest on Monday when it plays at Maize South.
The MHS JVs are now 12-2 after a pair of lopsided victories, 16-6 and 12-0.
Alex Sitts and Zane Myers both had two hits and three RBIs in Game 1, with Honestee Whittker driving in two. Trey Hanken was the winner in relief. Chandler Wiard pitched a two-hit shutout in Game 2, with Paxton Leaf the offensive stickout with four RBIs. Jeff Reed and Gabe Hoover drove in two apiece. Reed, Hoover and Leaf all had two hits.
• Game 1 •
MHS (12) — McDaniel 4-3-3-1, Werries 4-2-1-3, McCulley 3-2-1-1, Loecker 3-0-0-0, Hoover 4-2-3-1, Seidl 3-0-0-0, Kalkhorst 4-1-3-2, Saverino 1-1-0-0, Schmidt 1-0-0-0, Reed 2-1-0-0, Reifschneider 0-0-0-0, Giddings 0-0-0-0, Reiss 0-0-0-0.
• Game 2 •
MHS (10) — McDaniel 3-1-2-0, Werries 1-2-0-1, McCulley 2-2-0-0, Loecker 2-2-0-1, Hoover 3-1-1-2, Kalkhorst 3-0-2-2, Sitts 0-0-0-0, Saverino 2-0-0-0, Reiss 3-0-0-0, Reed 1-2-1-0, Eilts 0-0-0-1, Reifschneider 0-0-0-0.