It was apparent after the first inning here Wednesday that it would be a stress-free night for McPherson’s Senior American Legion baseball team in its season opener against Hutchinson at Grant Complex.
Post 24 piled up seven runs on just two hits, as jittery Hutchinson kicked the ball around four times.
The disparity continued the rest of the night as McPherson ended the single, nine-inning game in 6 1/2 by the run rule, 16-2.
McPherson did not have available stalwart catcher Cody Starkel, who was playing in the KBCA All-Star Game at Manhattan. And it doesn’t have a couple of other players who were on the Class 4A Division I state runner-up team.
However, it was a night of evaluation for McPherson coach Tony Schmidt, who trotted four pitchers out to the mound. Griffin Myers threw two scoreless innings, Jack Reifschneider and Caleb Giddings followed with two innings of one-run ball and Jacob Loecker overpowered Hutchinson in his final inning.
For all the runs it scored, the McPherson offense actually collected just seven hits as the Hutchinson pitchers found home plate jumping around on them. Numerous walks and hit batters led to Post 24 runs, though Ryan Eilts did drive in three. Reifschneider scored four runs and seven different McPherson players had one hit each, with Myers’ triple the most exciting knock of the night.
Schmidt, though, wanted to look at two specific areas.
“That (throwing four pitchers) was the object of the night, I didn’t care who we were playing,” Schmidt said. “We were going to take a look at some of our pitchers. We’re still trying to develop that (depth) for the high school next year. We also need to look at catching (since Starkel departs after this summer). Marcus McDaniel looks pretty fluid back there, but he’s pretty valuable at other places. (Michael) Saverino, he’s a good hustler and a kid who goes after it. He’s pretty rusty. He hasn’t been there in a long time.”
Post 24 remains at home on Saturday for games at 5 and 7 p.m against arch-rival Buhler. It isn’t known how many of the high school players from the team MHS edged 5-4 in the regional championship team will be playing.
McPherson actually plays its first 11 games at home before venturing out on the road for the first time June 19-20 for a weekend series at Bonner Springs.
McPherson (16) — McDaniel 4-1-0-0, Schmidt 3-0-1-0, Loecker 4-1-1-1, Hoover 3-1-1-1, Myers 3-2-1-1, Saverino 3-1-0-1, Reifschneider 2-4-1-1, Reed 1-3-0-1, Giddings 2-1-0-0, Eilts 2-1-1-3.