Maybe it all came too easily for McPherson’s Senior American Legion baseball team in the first game of its twinbill here Wednesday night.
Post 24 plundered Emporia pitching for 16 hits on its way to an 18-8 rout that ended early because of the run rule.
But in the second game, effective off-speed pitching got McPherson out of its rhythm, resulting in a 6-2 loss and split of the evening.
McPherson is now 3-2 on the season.
“They put that shift on us and we had too many guys trying to go opposite field,” McPherson coach Tony Schmidt said. “That’s a reason we got too many fly balls. We got 18 runs in the first game pretty easily and then we faced slow pitching.”
The top of the order was unstoppable in Game 1 as the first four Post 24 batters combined for nine hits. McPherson actually dug itself an early 5-0 hole before pounding away the rest of the way.
Jacob Loecker and Kolby Reed both collected three hits and three RBIs, with Loecker smoking a pair of doubles. Marcus McDaniel, Caleb Schmidt, Michael Saverino, Jack Reifschneider and Caleb Giddings all picked up two. Schmidt and Reifschneider drove in two runs apiece.
All that offense earned Griffin Myers the victory on the mound, with Schmidt finishing up.
Post 24 had numerous chances in the nightcap as it mounted an 11-hit attack, but produced just the two runs. Reed had three more hits to give him six on the night, while Schmidt also had three hits. McDaniel furnished two.
Emporia did all its damage early, scoring six runs in the first three innings. However, Tony Schmidt made an adjustment to how Saverino was setting up at the catcher spot and that allowed McDaniel to throw zeroes over the final four innings after being touched for the early tallies.
“We figured out some things with Saverino back there,” Schmidt said. “At first we couldn’t throw the pitches we wanted to and then we finally moved Mikey up six inches so he could catch that curveball. He was missing them by six inches. That’s my fault, I should have made the adjustment and seen that adjustment. I should have made it sooner. I think we would have won the game.”
McPherson stays at home on Saturday for two games against always-strong Salina. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Grant Complex, though getting the game in could be iffy since there is so much rain in the forecast for the next several days.
McPherson (18) — McDaniel 4-3-2-0, Schmidt 4-3-2-2, Loecker 3-0-3-3, Anderson 0-4-0-0, Saverino 4-2-2-2, Myers 2-2-0-0, Reifschneider 5-2-2-2, Reed 5-0-3-3, Giddings 4-1-2-1, Eilts 1-1-0-0.
McPherson (6) — McDaniel 4-1-2-0, Schmidt 4-1-3-0, Loecker 4-0-1-0, Saverino 4-0-0-0, Myers 3-0-1-0, Reifschneider 3-0-1-0, Reed 3-0-3-0, Anderson 2-0-0-0, Eilts 1-0-0-0, Giddings 3-0-0-0.