McPherson High’s baseball team wanted to send out seniors Cody Starkel and Griffin Myers in style here Thursday.
And did Starkel and Myers ever style and profile.
Both had big performances as it was a warm-and-fuzzy day for the Bullpups as they completed their turnaround regular season with a sweep of Winfield, 9-0 and 16-6.
MHS, 7-13 during last year’s regular season, reversed that by going 13-7. It will be either a No. 1 or 2 seed going into the regional at Hays, as it depends on what 12-6 Buhler does in its final two games.
Starkel hit for the cycle on the day, while Myers was driving in runs by the fistful as he had four ribbies.
“Our emphasis was to get a sweep for our seniors tonight,” MHS first-year coach Heath Gerstner said. “They deserve it. They have been awesome and their process has been great. They’re great teammates and leaders.”
Starkel hit a laser of a home run in Game 1 and also tripled, while completing his cycle in Game 2 with two doubles and a single. Myers had three of his four RBIs in Game 1.
MHS kept the pressure on in both games, running the bases unbated time and again.
“We want to be aggressive all the time and we want to run all the time,” Gerstner said. “And we probably have not run enough at times this season. I did have a little bit of scouting report about their catcher and that we could steal. I’m glad our guys our aggressive and I gave the steal sign a lot.”
Micah McCulley tossed five shutout innings in Game 1 before Jacob Loecker and Marcus McDaniel hung up one zero each. In addition to Starkel, Casen Hoover had a monster game with three hits and two RBIs. Myers and Caleb Schmidt had two hits apiece.
In Game 2, MHS had a comfortable 8-2 lead before Winfield pulled within 8-6. But in the sixth inning, the Bullpups had one of their biggest innings of the year with eight marks to run-rule Winfield.
Huge games were turned in by Starkel (three hits, three RBIs), Loecker (four hits, five RBIs), Schmidt (four runs) and McDaniel (four hits). Michael Saverino added two hits.
Schmidt was the winner with McDaniel finishing up.
The MHS JVs split with Salina South, but scores were not available. Winfield did not have enough players for the JV games.
MHS (9) — Starkel 3-1-2-1, Schmidt 4-2-2-0, McDaniel 3-1-1-1, Brossard 1-0-0-0, Hoover 4-2-3-2, Myers 4-1-2-3, McCulley 4-0-0-0, Loecker 2-0-0-1, Saverino 3-0-1-0, Reed 0-2-0-0.
MHS (16) — Starkel 5-0-3-3, Schmidt 3-4-2-1, McDaniel 4-3-4-1, Hoover 2-1-0-2, Myers 4-0-0-1, McCulley 3-1-0-0, Loecker 5-1-4-5, Saverino 4-1-2-1, Reifschneider 3-2-0-0, Reed 0-3-0-0.