Jr. Legion wins CKL tourney

By Steve Sell
June 12, 2017

NEWTON — McPherson’s Junior American Legion baseball team completed a 4-0 run through the Central Kansas League Round-Robin Tournament on Sunday with wins over Buhler and Salina.

Post 24, which had knocked off Newton and Hutchinson on Saturday, is now 8-1 on the season.

“Really pumped to go 4-0 in Newton this weekend and win a quality tournament,” McPherson coach Heath Gerstner said. “We never played our perfect game, but are getting better in many facets of the game. Many of our guys went to Fort Hays State University Team Football Camp Thursday-Saturday and to come and win four games against quality opponents has me excited."

Against Buhler, Post 24 exploded for six runs in the fourth inning and then had to fend off a Buhler rally for a 9-8 victory. Kourtney Craig had two hits and two RBIs to lead the offense and was aided by Devin Feil (two RBIs) and Shane Starkel (two RBIs).

Chandler Wiard worked five innings to pick up the win, with Devin Feil finishing up.

The second game featured a dazzling two-hit shutout performance by Jakob Feil, who fanned four and walked only two in an 8-0 blanking of Salina. Devin Feil had two hits and two RBIs to pace the offense, while Honestee Whittker added two hits.

“It all starts with pitching for us and I thought Chandler Wiard and Jakob Feil  were just outstanding,” Gerstner said. “Both had multiple pitches working and really just trusted their defense and attacked hitters. Both Chandler and Jakob had hitters off balance the entire game."

Gerstner was pleased that his team kept focus during the heat.

"I told our guys in postgame that I just thought we played harder than both teams all day.  It was hot and windy, but without a doubt our guys just played tougher and faster than them,” Gerstner said. “We stole a ton of bases and were taking extra bases and are learning to play the the game the right way. Buhler has a really nice team, which includes multiple players from Hutchinson and they just kept battling back."

Post 24 is back home on Tuesday to take on the Wichita Aviators. First pitch at Grant Complex is 5 p.m.

• Game 1 •

McPherson (9) — J. Feil 3-2-1-0, Whittker 4-0-0-0, D. Feil 2-2-1-2, Powers 2-1-1-0, Starkel 2-1-1-2, Craig 3-1-2-2, Scott 2-1-1-1, Stout 3-0-1-1, Wiard 3-1-1-0.

• Game 2 •

McPherson (8) — J. Feil 3-2-1-0, Whittker 4-2-2-1, D. Feil 4-1-2-2, Powers 3-0-1-1, Starkel 2-1-0-1, Craig 2-1-1-0, Scott 0-0-0-0, Stout 3-0-1-0, Wiard 2-1-0-0.