LEAVENWORTH — The long road back through the loser’s bracket of the Class A American Legion State Baseball Tournament is an arduous one.
So McPherson Post 24 didn’t want to waste any more time than it had to in its first game of what it hopes to be a lengthy run.
McPherson plated eight first-inning runs Thursday morning as a springboard to an 11-1 rout of Dodge City, a game ended in just over an hour because of the run-rule.
McPherson moves on to play at 12:30 p.m. Friday against the loser of today’s semifinal game between Paola and Doniphan.
Brodie Burney drove in three runs, while Jacob Loecker had three hits to lead the way.Loecker and Jack Reifschneider added two RBIs apiece.
“We played much better today,” said McPherson coach Tony Schmidt, whose team improved to 23-7. “We were much more relaxed. Everybody hit the ball.”
Micah McCulley worked the first two innings before Jack Reifschneider came on after McPherson had built its substantial lead. Schmidt said by limiting McCulley’s innings, he’ll be available as early as Friday. One thing McPherson has going for it in a double-elimination tournament is plenty of arms to call on.
Schmidt said Post 24 hit up and down the lineup, but a key play was a bunt in the first inning by Casen Hoover, which wound up scoring two runs.
McPherson has yet to use standout pitcher Caleb Schmidt, so it appears to be in good shape for the long haul.
Mac (11) — Starkel 3-1-1-0, Schmidt 1-2-0-0, McDaniel 1-2-0-0, Burney 3-2-2-3, Loecker 3-1-3-2, Hoover 2-1-1-0, McCulley 2-1-1-0, Reed 2-0-0-0, Reifschneider 2-1-1-2.