Another chapter of the McPherson-Buhler rivalry

By Steve Sell
June 15, 2016

Wednesday’s ramblings...

• GREAT LEGION GAME — McPherson and Buhler could have a tiddlywinks competition and it would still produce high drama.

The two towns have established a healthy sports rivalry in recent years, once they were put in the same division of the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League.

It should be a natural. It’s little more than a 15-minute drive and both towns produce quality athletes year after year.

Tuesday night, McPherson and Buhler hooked up for a single, nine-inning American Legion baseball game at Grant Complex that was a 3-hour thrill ride.

Remember, it was Buhler that denied McPherson High a chance to head back to Salina for the Class 4A Division I State Tournament. The Crusaders rallied to hand the Bullpups an 11-9 loss and they rode that wave of momentum to the state title.

While the cast of characters wasn’t the same — both teams were without at least three regulars each — you could sense that last month’s heartbreak wasn’t lost on McPherson. It jumped on Buhler standout Dillon Engelland for eight first-inning runs after having given up three in the top of the inning.

Buhler slugged its way back into the game and eventually took the lead, one it kept until the bottom of the ninth. McPherson put together a typical rally, as timely hits and good baserunning produced two runs, the winner coming on a bases-loaded walk to Alex Sitts.

Both sides’ fans were really into the game and it was fun to watch. 

Mark this date on your calendar — Sept. 2. That’s when McPherson High and Buhler open the high school football season at McPherson Stadium. It will be SRO (standing room only) for sure.

• ROYALS STILL ROLLING — The Kansas City Royals never believe they’re out of a game at Kauffman Stadium.

Down 2-1 to Cleveland Tuesday night and doing next-to-nothing offensively, a scratch hit by Eric Hosmer led to a bomb by Salvador Perez and a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning.

Game, set, match.

KC manager Ned Yost was forced to use reliever Joakim Soria for five outs since relievers Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera and Luke Hochevar were unavailable due to recent overwork. Soria still has the ability to close games, even if his stuff isn’t what it was during his halcyon days.

The Royals have now won eight in a row at home and are an American League-best 21-7 at The K. They still aren’t hitting the ball, but their starting pitching has greatly improved over the last three games. Remember, all they need to do is have a lead after six innings and they’re a virtual lock to win.

• SIGN UP FOR CITY GOLF — Just a reminder, you have one week left to sign up for the McPherson City Golf Tournament at Turkey Creek clubhouse. Play starts June 24 at McPherson Country Club, continues on the 25th at Rolling Acres and wraps up the 26th at The Creek.

Nearly 50 players have signed up so far. There is both individual and two-man competition. 

Don’t wait until the last minute like I normally do. The committee would appreciate it.