For McPherson High baseball coach Heath Gerstner, the decision wasn’t that difficult.
Even though Bullpup pitcher Dylan Werries had pitched six hitless innings against Wichita Collegiate on Tuesday in the season opener at Grant Complex, Gerstner never hesitated in pulling him in favor of Raine Reitsma to start the seventh inning even though it was just a 1-0 game.
Reitsma walked his first hitter, but then induced a doubleplay. He struck out the next hitter to preserve MHS’ narrow singleton victory.
“It’s hard to pull a kid when he hasn’t allowed a run or a hit,” Gerstner said. “We kind of put the number 75 (pitches) on the board for Dylan this week and let him go a little bit above that (82) and he was feeling good. But we didn’t want to push it any more than that for the first start of the year. I also wanted to see what Reitsma could do. He’s been looking really good in intrasquad.”
The Spartans had a couple of near-hits, but Casen Hoover made a nice stab on a line drive at third base and Jack Reifschneider made a sliding catch in center field. Other than that, Werries cruised as he walked three and struck out five.
The Bullpups didn’t break through offensively until the fifth inning when Werries opened with a double, Gunnar Reiss followed with a single to send Werries to third and then Hoover delivered an RBI single. MHS didn’t capitalize for any more offense though despite finishing the game with eight hits.
“We’ve got to be better offensively,” Gerstner said. “We didn’t run the bases very well, but it was really slippery and tough conditions.”
Reiss and Zane Myers had two hits apiece for the Bullpups.
MHS won the JV game, 10-1.
• The Bullpups’ other scheduled game with Andover was postponed. No makeup date has been announced. Andover Central and Collegiate were in the fourth inning when their game was suspended.
• At-bats, runs, hits and RBIs
MHS (1) — Werries 2-1-1-0, Reiss 3-0-2-0, Hoover 3-0-1-1, Saverino 3-0-1-0, Reed 3-0-0-0, Sitts 2-0-0-0, Hanken 3-0-1-0, Myers 2-0-2-0, Reifschneider 3-0-0-0, Wiard 0-0-0-0, Seidl 0-0-0-0.