Caleb Schmidt was two outs from perfection.
After retiring the first 13 Wichita Aces Tuesday night at Grant Complex, Schmidt gave up a couple of harmless hits but still finished with a shutout as McPherson’s U-17 American Legion completed a sweep.
Schmidt was virtually untouchable in a 9-0 victory after a similar strong pitching performance by Griffin Myers in the first game led Post 24 to a 6-2 win.
With the sweep, Post 24 ping-ponged back over the .500 mark at 5-4 heading into this weekend’s Bob Hooper Classic.
“I think they were a lot stronger team last year than they were this year, that’s for sure,” McPherson coach Tony Schmidt said. “They hit the ball last year. They must have lost a lot of older kids. It was good for us between the ears. We’ve got a lot of kids who are injured now.”
Caleb Schmidt walked only one and fanned four as he was in complete control. McPherson took command of the game early with three runs in the first, four in the second and two in the third to set up the run-rule situation. The Aces were hardly that in the field, as their miscues helped McPherson immensely. Ryan Eilts did stroke a pair of hits and Brodie Burney drove in two runs.
Myers was a model of efficiency in the first game, as he also displayed pinpoint control with just one walk and fanned five. He allowed only five hits.
The game turned in the second inning when Burney cleared the bases with a three-run double. Cody Starkel was the other offensive instigator with a pair of hits.
Pounding the strike zone was the key to the evening, according to Schmidt.
“When we pitch strikes, most times we win,” Schmidt said. “When we pitch strikes, our kids are in the game, the game flows faster and it helps tremendously.”
Because of injuries, McPherson will have a combined team this weekend in the second annual Bob Hooper Classic and compete in the U-16 division. Post 24 opens at 3:30 p.m. Friday against BTL Academy-Gray.
McPherson (6) — Starkel 3-2-2-1, Schmidt 2-1-0-0, Burney 3-0-1-3, McCulley 3-0-1-1, Myers 3-1-1-0, Loecker 3-0-0-0, Powell 2-0-0-0, Olson 2-1-0-0, Eilts 2-1-0-0.
McPherson (9) — Starkel 3-1-1-0, Schmidt 1-2-1-0, Burney 2-2-1-2, McCulley 3-0-0-0, Myers 1-1-0-0, Loecker 3-0-1-1, Powell 2-0-0-0, Olson 2-1-1-0, Eilts 2-2-2-1.