EMPORIA — Like its senior brethren, the McPherson Junior American Legion baseball team came away with a split in games Wednesday night against Emporia.
McPherson languished through a pulseless first game, bowing 9-0. However, it came to play in the second game, resulting in a 7-3 victory.
“Game 1 was not the brand of baseball we have come accustomed to or work to create in our teams,” McPherson coach Heath Gerstner said. “The guys came out flat and not ready to play.”
Sam Brossard took the loss and the bats were in silence mode.
Raine Reitsma pitched McPherson to the second-game win and the bats came alive with ample offensive support.
“Raine did not have his best stuff, but pitched to contact for the most part and we relied on a few bunts to spark the offense,” Gerstner said. “We are really challenging Raine this summer to get his off-speed stuff going as he could be a key guy in years to come. The guys played with more energy in Game 2 and was very pleased to end evening with a win.”
Gerstner said it’s all about focus.
“We are preaching to our guys about really focusing on getting 1 percent better every night out,” Gerstner said. “It is so easy to fall in the trap of ‘oh. it's hot’ and we working to build team toughness.”
The team is back home tonight to play Salina. First pitch at Grant Complex is 6 p.m.