AUGUSTA — AVCTL Division III newcomer Augusta is obviously going to make an immediate impact on the league’s baseball race.
The Orioles threw some dazzling pitching at McPherson High Thursday in the season opener for both teams, stifling the Bullpups for 6-1 and 6-2 decisions.
It was the debut for first-year MHS coach Heath Gerstner, who remained upbeat despite being swept.
“I am excited about this team and think we will continue to get 1 percent better every single day,” Gerstner said. “We have some great young men who really care about winning and doing things the right way. I always believe if our pitching and defense are solid then we will be competitive in all games and our offense will catch up. We must do better at battling at the plate in not striking out and finding ways to get on base including in the bunt game.”
Augusta had a lot to do with the Bullpups dropping their first two games.
“My hats off to Augusta as I thought they put together two great games.” Gerstner said. “Their pitcher in the first game really caused us fits as he threw three pitches for strikes and commanded the zone. Game 2 was a bit different. We took an early 2-0 lead and had an opportunity to probably have a bigger lead, but we struggled putting together good quality at-bats.”
The first game was a 0-0 duel for 5 1/2 innings, but the Orioles erupted for six runs in the sixth before MHS posted its lone run in the seventh. Jacob Loecker drove in Michael Saverino with the only run. The Bullpups were held to three hits.
Caleb Schmidt pitched well until the sixth when he gave up three runs. Griffin Myers and Jack Reifschneider tried to put out the fire, but allowed three runs between them.
The Bullpups scored two runs in the first inning of the second game, but then went dormant the rest of the way.
Augusta scored a run in the first and three in the second, which proved to be all the offense it needed.
MHS still had cold bats, with four players picking up a single hit apiece. Micah McCulley took the loss and Marcus McDaniel also pitched. They allowed six walks between them as they struggled with their control.
MHS will try to even its record on Monday when it makes its home debut against Mulvane. First pitch is 4 p.m. at Grant Complex.
MHS (1) — Schmidt 2-0-0-0, Myers 3-0-0-0, Starkel 3-0-0-0, McDaniel 3-0-1-0, McCulley 2-0-0-0, Saverino 3-1-1-0, Loecker 3-0-1-1, Reifschneider 3-0-0-0, Reed 2-0-0-0, Hoover 0-0-0-0, Sitts 0-0-0-0.
MHS (2) — Starkel 2-0-0-0, Myers 2-1-1-0, McDaniel 2-0-0-0, Loecker 3-0-0-0, Hoover 4-0-1-0, Saverino 4-0-1-0, Werries 3-0-1-0, Reifschneider 2-0-0-0, Schmidt 1-0-0-0, Reed 2-0-0-0. Sitts 0-1-0-0.