The longer the game went on Thursday, the stronger Caleb Schmidt got.
Schmidt, who missed the second half of the high school season this spring due to injury, is making up for lost time.
He fired a four-hitter against the BC Cubs, leading McPherson Senior American Legion Post 24 to a 9-2 victory in the first round of the Hooper Showcase at Grant Complex.
Schmidt seemed to be throwing harder at the end of the game than he was at the start. While he did walk six, he fanned seven and allowed only one earned run.
“He’s always been that way,” McPherson coach Tony Schmidt said of his son’s penchant to raise his pitch speed as the game progresses. “He hasn’t really established his secondary pitches yet. He had 18 innings (pitched this spring) and last year he had like 49 or 50. So he’s fresh.”
Casen Hoover had a booming bat with a triple and double, good for four RBIs. Alex Kalkhorst added two hits and two RBIs as Post 24 didn’t start to come alive at the plate until the sixth, when it scored five runs. Dylan Werries scored three runs.
“We squared up some balls at times,” Schmidt said. “I thought we ran the bases pretty well (four steals).”
McPherson is playing Bonner Springs at 4:00 today, then takes on Paola at 4:00 Saturday. Sunday’s game will be determined by the results of pool play. Post 24 will be missing some players today and Saturday as they’ll be attending football camp in Kansas City.
There was one mild surprise among Thursday’s four games in that Salina outlasted Buhler, 9-6.
McPherson (9) — Schmidt 3-2-1-1, Werries 3-3-0-0, McDaniel 3-2-1-0, Hoover 4-1-2-4, Kalkhorst 2-0-2-2, Loecker 2-0-0-0, Saverino 4-0-1-0, K. Reed 0-1-0-0, Sitts 2-0-0-0, J. Reed 0-0-0-0.
• THURSDAY’S SCORES •
Great Bend 9, Marion 1
Newton 6, Junction City 4
McPherson 9, BC Cubs 2
Salina 9, Buhler 6
• FRIDAY’S GAMES •
2:00 — Arkansas City vs. Emporia; Buhler vs. Larned
4:00 — McPherson vs. Bonner Springs; Wabaunsee vs. Hays
6:00 — BC Cubs vs. Paola; Mo-Kan Giants vs. Paola
• SATURDAY’S GAMES •
10:00 — Emporia vs. Hays; Bonner Springs vs. Paola; Newton vs. Marion (Light Cap)
Noon — Wabaunsee vs. Arkansas City (Light Cap); Mo-Kan Giants vs. Buhler; Larned vs. Salina
2:00 — BC Cubs vs. Bonner Springs; Great Bend vs. Newton; Junction City vs. Marion (Light Cap)
4:00 — Paola vs. McPherson; Hays vs. Arkansas City; Mo-Kan Giants vs. Salina
6:00 — Junction City vs. Great Bend; Wabaunsee vs. Emporia
• Note — Sunday’s bracket play starts at 10 a.m. at Grant Complex and Light Cap.