The big question going into the season for the McPherson High baseball team was this:
"Who is going to follow ace pitcher Jack Reifschneider in the starting rotation?"
Dylan Werries provided an answer in the first game of the season, unraveling six hitless innings against Wichita Collegiate. So the No. 2 spot seems secure.
Auditions for the back of the rotation were held on Thursday when the Bullpups finally returned to the field to host Winfield.
Raine Reitsma and Jeff Reed perhaps completed the equation.
Reitsma pitched six solid innings in Game 1, a 10-1 Bullpup victory. Reifschneider, who will start on Monday against Andale, got his first time on the bump by striking out the side in the final inning.
In Game 2, Reed was a model of efficiency as he permitted just two hits and tossed five scoreless innings. Trey Hanken, another pitching candidate, threw two scoreless frames as MHS completed the sweep with a 9-0 victory.
MHS is now 3-0 on the season and the pitching staff has not allowed an earned run in 21 innings. Monday, though, should be a litmus test as the Bullpups step way up in competition at Andale.
"We're just looking for guys who want to throw strikes," MHS coach Heath Gerstner said after his pitchers did not walk a hitter in either game as Winfield was a free-swinging team. "We had put them on the mound a lot. The last month being indoors, we had a lot of time to work on pitching. Credit to (assistant) coach (Aaron) Alvord, he's been patient with those guys and you can see them developing and getting better all the time."
In the first game, Reitsma and Winfield’s Treyton Suttles were locked in a pitchers duel for three innings, but then the Bullpups’ offense came alive while the Winfield defense fell apart, leading to nine MHS runs over the next three innings as it scored two in the fourth, three in the fifth and four in the sixth. The Vikings committed six errors in the game and the Bullpups made them pay as many of the miscues led to MHS runs.
Reitsma gave up four singles and threw only 64 pitches in six innings.
Alex Sitts was 3 for 3 with two RBIs and two stolen bases. Dylan Werries and Mikey Saverino added two hits apiece and Gunnar Reiss drove in two runs.
MHS pecked away in Game 2, scoring at least one run in five of its six innings. The big outburst was the fifth when the Bullpups scored four runs.
Casen Hoover drove in three runs, while Werries and Zane Myers had two hits apiece. Myers also walked twice to reach base four times.
The Bullpups ran the bases well all day with 12 steals.
There was no JV game due to the wet grounds on the north field.
• Game 1 •
MHS (10) — Werries 3-2-2-0, Reiss 4-1-1-2, C. Hoover 4-1-1-0, Reed 4-2-0-1, Saverino 2-2-2-1, Hanken 4-0-1-1, Wiard 0-0-0-0, Sitts 3-1-3-2, Myers 2-0-0-0, Reifschneider 4-1-0-0, G. Hoover 0-0-0-0.
• Game 2 •
MHS (9) — Werries 4-2-2-1, Sitts 2-0-0-1, C. Hoover 4-0-1-3, Reed 4-0-0-0, Saverino 3-1-0-0, Reiss 2-2-0-0, Myers 2-0-2-1, G. Hoover 0-2-0-0, Seidl 4-1-2-0, Reifschneider 3-1-1-1.