GREAT BEND — McPherson’s Senior American Legion baseball team has built its reputation on small ball — bunting, stealing and moving runners around the bases.
Sunday, it showed it could play longball as well.
Cody Starkel crushed a grand slam and Casen Hoover added another blast during a nine-run first inning as Post 24 steamrolled Great Bend 14-2 in the first round of the Class AAA Zone Tournament.
McPherson takes on Garden City today at 3 p.m., with the loser then playing Great Bend in an elimination game. Buhler already is out after losing to both Garden City and Great Bend.
“We really hit the ball,” McPherson coach Tony Schmidt said. “It was a good way to start.”
Post 24 led 12-2 after two innings and piled up 13 hits for the game.
Jeff Reed joined Starkel with four RBIs. Both had two hits, as did Hoover and Mikey Saverino.
Caleb Schmidt struck out six in his four innings of work to pick up the win.
McPherson now takes on a Garden City team that is 27-2.
McPherson (14) — Schmidt 4-2-1-0, Werries 3-1-1-0, McDaniel 3-1-1-1, Starkel 3-1-2-4, Sitts 0-1-0-0, Hoover 3-2-2-1, Loecker 3-2-1-0, Saverino 2-2-2-1, J. Reed 3-2-2-4, K. Reed 3-0-1-1.