In a baseball game where McPherson High’s defense leaked oil, it was that same defense that actually saved the Bullpups here Thursday against Circle.
After having little trouble with the Thunderbirds in Game 1 for an 11-5 victory, the Bullpups kicked it all around for six errors in the first four innings of Game 2 to trail 5-1.
But after the Bullpups scored three runs in the fifth to pull within one, the Thunderbirds threatened to add to their lead in the sixth. But a fine throw by Alex Sitts from left field kept a runner from scoring and then Gunnar Reiss made an incredible stop, got up and threw a runner out at home to preserve the lead.
MHS fed off that defensive energy for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-5 lead, which Dylan Werries protected in the seventh inning to complete the sweep.
MHS arrives at the halfway point of the schedule with a 7-3 record with state-ranked Augusta coming to town on Monday.
“I told them my stomach was pretty upset about 30 or 45 minutes ago,” MHS coach Heath Gerstner said as his defense collapsed early, only to pick it up late. “(I’m) Excited about our guys’ ability to just come back and really believe. I think they all did, kind of stayed in it. Had a couple of big hits and some good pitching at the end.”
MHS was tied 3-3 after 3 1/2 innings of the opener, but then struck for back-to-back four-run innings to tear a hole in the game. The big blow of the day was a homer by Casen Hoover, who deposited a long drive over the left field fence.
Werries was 3 for 4 to lead the Bullpups and Mikey Saverino drove in four. Hoover, Trey Hanken and Jack Reifschneider all had two hits. The T-Birds was faulty in the field with seven errors.
Raine Reitsma threw five solid innings to pick up the with, with Hanken and Werries tossing an inning apiece.
The Bullpups had only five hits in Game 2, but stole five bases took and advantage of everything the Circle defense gave it.
Jeff Reed worked around a couple of jams to throw three innings of relief to pick up the win, with Werries pitching a 1-2-3 seventh to nail it down.
MHS is 4-0 in league play as it still has to play El Dorado and Buhler as well.
The MHS JVs split their games, losing the opener 9-5 but storming back for a 13-3 rout.
Honestee Whittker had two hits in the first game and Kaleb Hoppes drove in two runs.
MHS scored seven runs in the third inning of Game 2 to key the rout. Whittker drove in three runs, while Jakob Feil added two hits. Feil earned the win, with Tanner Cheatham finishing up with two innings of relief.
• Varsity Boxes •
• Game 1 •
MHS (11) — Werries 4-1-3-1, Saverino 4-2-1-4, C. Hoover 4-1-2-2, Reed 3-0-0-1, Hanken 3-1-2-0, Myers 2-1-0-0, Sitts 4-1-1-0, G. Hoover 4-0-1-0, Reiss 0-1-0-0, Reifschneider 3-3-2-1.
• Game 2 •
MHS (7) — Werries 2-2-1-1, Saverino 3-2-1-0, C. Hoover 2-0-0-1, Seidl 4-0-1-1, Hanken 2-0-1-0, Wiard 0-0-0-0, Wheat 1-0-0-0, Myers 1-0-0-0, Reiss 3-0-0-0, Sitts 3-1-0-0, Reifschneider 2-2-1-1.