McPherson High’s baseball team was desperate for a lockdown pitching performance.
Having lost six of seven to open the season, the Bullpups turned to sophomore Caleb Schmidt, who delivered a beauty.
Schmidt’s six solid innings, then three straight strikeouts in relief by Marcus McDaniel in the seventh, enabled the Bullpups to re-enter the winning column here Thursday with a 12-4 second-game victory over Circle after the T-Birds had won the first game, 8-7.
Schmidt went six innings and allowed only four hits while striking out eight. Most importantly, he was around the plate with only two walks, which kept the MHS fielders on their toes. They committed two errors on the first two plays of the game, then play faultless after that.
“Caleb threw real well,” MHS coach Grant Myers said. “Marcus came in and threw well.”
MHS received three hits, three runs and two RBIs from Ethan Nadeau, while Micah McCulley added two hits and two RBIs. McDaniel also had a pair of RBIs.
The first game was agonizingly frustrating as the Bullpups left 14 runners on base as they littered the paths, only to leave them stranded. MHS never led in the game, but pulled within 7-6 in the fifth and then 8-7 in the seventh. The Bullpups had the tying and winning runners on base, but couldn’t get them in.
Cody Starkel took the loss, with Griffin Myers pitching the final five innings.
“I thought we battled that first game,” Grant Myers said. “Left on base, we had to have 13 or 14 kids left on base. We talked about it. Fourth inning we’ve got second and third with no outs and all we need is to hit a ground ball on the right side. We talked about that situational hitting.”
Schmidt was 3 for 4 to lead the MHS offense, while Starkel had a double and single, good for three RBIs.
MHS, now 2-6, is home Monday to take on an El Dorado team that is similar to the Bullpups, who reach the halfway point of the schedule. Myers is hoping for a sweep, because the schedule gets much more difficult the rest of the way.
MHS’ JVs won 15-1 and 11-1, but no game information was reported.
MHS (7) — McDaniel 4-0-1-0, Schmidt 4-1-3-1, Burney 3-1-1-0, McCulley 4-1-0-0, Starkel 5-1-2-3, Myers 5-0-1-1, Ruxlow 1-1-0-0, Nadeau 1-1-0-0, Schrag 3-0-0-1.
MHS (12) — McDaniel 3-1-1-2, Schmidt 4-1-0-0, Burey 5-0-1-0, McCulley 3-2-2-2, Starkel 1-1-0-1, Myers 3-0-0-1, Ruxlow 2-2-0-1, Nadeau 3-2-3-2, Schrag 4-2-1-0.