Rain, rain go away.
McPherson High’s baseball team certainly is breaking out its best rain dance as Tuesday’s Class 4A Division I Regional Tournament at Grant Complex is in peril as it’s rained most of today and the forecast is somewhat gloomy for Tuesday.
As it stands, No. 1 seed MHS takes on Ulysses at 2 p.m., with Hays and Buhler matched in the 4 p.m. game.
The championship game is set for 6 p.m.
MHS is 15-5 this season after being a somewhat surprising state finalist last year, losing to Topeka Hayden for the championship.
This is a tough regional, as honorary team member Kaiden Schroeder’s correct coin flip call gave MHS the top seed as Buhler also is 15-5. The Crusaders have no bargain with 11-7 Hays.
“I am excited for our kids to go compete in this regional and especially in front of our home crowd,” second-year MHS coach Heath Gerstner said. “This senior class is truly a special group and I think it is a group we will look back on in 10 years and really understand then all they have accomplished for this program. However, I think they would agree that they aren't even close to ready for it to end.”
Gerstner’s plan is to throw Jack Reifschneider in Game 1 against 7-11 Ulysses.
“I firmly expect a good game from them as I would assume they have at least one good arm and our goal will be to score first and then let Jack pitch with a lead,” Gerstner said.
That would leave Micah McCulley to pitch the championship game, with the rest of the staff available.
Gerstner is hoping the winner of Hays and Buhler has to exhaust some pitching.
“I think the Hays versus Buhler matchup will be a dandy,” Gerstner said. “Both teams have capability to win the state tournament if they get hot at the right time.”
Of course, chances could be the tourney will be moved back.
“Obviously with all this rain coming in, we have to work as a staff to keep us focused on the task at hand and keep routines consistent,” Gerstner said. “I thought we handled all the changes very well last year and we need to do the same this year.”