It was another trip to splitsville here Thursday for the McPherson High baseball team.
For the fourth straight home doubleheader, the Bullpups emerged with a split, this time with Mulvane.
MHS dropped the first game 9-3, before run-ruling the Wildcats 12-2 in the nightcap. The Bullpups take a 5-9 record into Tuesday’s final home doubleheader of the year against league tailender El Dorado, a team they expect to beat twice.
Mulvane remained at .500 as it’s 7-7.
Oddly, the Bullpups have lost the opener in each of their four home dates, only to bounce back to halve the day.
MHS coach Grant Myers thought that except for one inning, the Bullpups played well the entire day.
“We played really well that first game,” Myers said. “We didn’t have an error. For five innings, Marcus (McDaniel) pitched very, very well. That sixth inning, it just blew up before we could get anything done. That happens sometimes.”
McDaniel allowed only three hits and two runs through five innings in his most extensive action of the year before tiring in the sixth. Mulvane strung together five hits to score five times, then tacked on two more runs for insurance in the seventh.
MHS pecked away for nine hits, but only one — Ethan Nadeau’s triple — was good for extra bases. Nadeau, McDaniel and Cody Starkel all had two hits.
The second game was bizarre in that MHS sprinted to a 9-2 lead after two innings despite collecting just two hits. A spate of walks and wild pitches enabled the Bullpups to run the bases like deer. The highlight offensively was the resurgence of Micah McCulley, who had two hits and three RBIs. Starkel had two more hits, and Nadeau and Brodie Burney scored three runs.
“We had nine runs on two hits (early),” Myers said. “We did hit the ball hard. We put the ball in play and they made errors. We walked a bunch.”
All that offense allowed Caleb Schmidt to relax and throw strikes. He pounded the zone and was never in trouble other than the two runs he allowed in the second. He permitted just three hits and never wavered.
“Caleb adjusted and took care of business,” Myers said. “Jacob Loecker made a couple catches out there (in left field) that were nice, Griffin (Myers) made one behind second and Casen Hoover, starting his first varsity game as a freshmen, he did well.”
Myers likes the direction of his painfully young team. He’s hoping for a sweep Tuesday to give it a 6-4 home record and it would also give it a .500 record in D-III play as it’s currently 3-5.
“With this team it’s growing pains,” Myers said. “We’re growing up, we’ve got to do some more growing up.”
The MHS JVs split, winning the first game 10-0 behind the pitching of Raine Reitsma, before losing 4-2 in the nightcap.
MHS (3) — McDaniel 4-1-2-0, Myers 4-1-1-0, Schmidt 4-0-1-1, Starkel 3-1-2-0, Burney 3-0-1-0, Nadeau 3-0-2-1, Schrag 3-0-1-0, McCulley 3-0-0-0, Ruxlow 3-0-0-0.
MHS (12) — Myers 2-2-0-0, Schmidt 2-1-0-0, Starkel 3-1-2-1, Burney 3-3-1-2, Nadeau 2-3-2-1, Schrag 1-1-0-0, McCulley 3-1-2-3, Reed 2-0-1-0, Hoover 3-0-0-1.