ANDALE — McPherson High baseball coach Heath Gerstner insists that Andale is a state championship contender.
The Indians did nothing to dissuade Gerstner’s thoughts on Monday by sweeping the Bullpups, 13-10 and 7-4. It was MHS’ first two defeats after it had opened the season with a 3-0 record, allowing no earned runs in 21 innings.
“We did not play our brand of baseball tonight as we really pride ourselves on quality pitching and defense,” Gerstner said. “We struggled in these areas and will work to correct to give us a chance in every game we play in. The ‘Bullpup Way’ is really winning those freebie wars (walks, strikeouts, stolen bases, errors) and last night we gave away a lot in that regard.”
Game 1 was a wild offensive affair. Andale scored four runs in the bottom of the first, only to see MHS tie the game in the next inning. MHS still led 8-6 after 2 1/2 innings, but Andale scored seven runs combined in the third and fourth innings.
The bottom half of MHS’ order did the damage. Number 9 hitter Jack Reifschneider was 3 for 4 with four RBIs and Wyatt Seidl was 3 for 5 with three runs scored. Also, Alex Sitts scored three runs and Zane Myers was 2 for 3 with two runs scored. Gunnar Reiss added two RBIs.
Three pitchers worked, with Raine Reitsma taking the loss.
In Game 2, Andale jumped out to a 7-1 lead before MHS did make a run with three runs in the sixth.
Seven Bullpups had one hit each, with Reifschneider coming up with the only extra-base hit, a double. He also took the loss on the mound.
Despite an empty day, Gerstner saw some positives.
“Most importantly, I’m proud of our team for always fighting back after falling behind almost from the beginning in both games,” Gerstner said. “Both games we fell behind by significant deficits and our guys just kept chipping away and love that. Andale is a good baseball team and we had a chance to win in both games and as a coach that’s all I can ask for. I thought we put a lot of barrels on balls and hit some balls really hard and did score some runs. We need to be a bit more consistent with our at-bats and make sure we capitalize with runners in scoring position, but offensively we are close."
Andale swept the JV games, 17-2 and 8-7.
MHS is hosting Andover Thursday.There’s a JV game at 4:00, followed by a varsity game at 6:00.
• Game 1 •
MHS (10) — Werries 2-0-0-1, Reiss 2-0-1-2, Reitsma 1-0-0-0, Hanken 1-0-0-0, Hoover 4-0-1-1, Saverino 4-0-1-1, Reed 5-0-0-0, Seidl 5-3-3-0, Sitts 2-3-1-0, Myers 3-2-2-0, Reifschneider 4-2-3-4, Wheat 0-0-0-0.
• Game 2 •
MHS (4) — Werries 3-0-0-0, Reiss 4-0-1-0, Hoover 4-1-1-0, Saverino 4-0-1-0, Seidl 4-0-1-1, Reed 3-1-1-0, Sitts 2-0-0-0, Myers 2-1-1-1, Reifschneider 2-1-1-1, Wheat 0-0-0-0, Hanken 0-0-0-0.