LEAVENWORTH — McPherson’s American Legion baseball team could see the finish line, but couldn’t reach it.
Post 24 led Andover 3-1 going into the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the American Legion Class A Tournament.
After playing solidly for much of the game, it all unraveled in that fateful inning as Andover scored seven runs to rally for an 8-3 victory and drop McPherson into Thursday’s 10 a.m. elimination game against the loser of the second game between Dodge City and the Salina Eagles.
Marcus McDaniel went the distance on the mound and had it going before Andover started to hit the ball and then took advantage of some Post 24 lapses to get the merry-go-round going.
McPherson coach Tony Schmidt said his team didn't take advantage of scoring opportunities early in the game, as it could easily have been 6-1 with a clutch hit here or there.
"We were not as aggressive as we normally are. Maybe a little bit of nerves," Schmidt said. "We had one inning that got away from us. They had a couple of big hits with the bases loaded and we had a couple of mental errors."
It didn't help, Schmidt said, that the game began with rubber-core baseballs being used before standard baseballs became available about the fourth inning.
"We hit some shots, but you don't know what those balls are going to do," he said, adding though that it worked both ways since both teams used the same balls.
McPherson (3) — Starkel 3-1-1-0, Schmidt 3-0-2-0, McDaniel 2-0-0-0, Burney 4-0-0-0, Loecker 3-0-1-1, Hoover 2-1-1-0, McCulley 2-1-1-0, Reed 3-0-1-1, Reifschneider 3-0-0-0.