Jr. Legion, Salina Hawks split

By Steve Sell
June 11, 2015

McPherson’s Junior American Legion and the Salina Hawks swapped well-pitched baseball games Thursday night at windy Grant Complex.

McPherson’s Alex Kalkhorst was dazzling in the opener, throwing a five-inning, two-hitter as Post 24 ended it early, 10-0.

In the nightcap, the Hawks’ Bryce Banks, Justin Duong and Sean Toner kept McPherson in check for a 5-2 win.

“Alex probably pitched the best game we’ve had so far this summer,” said McPherson assistant coach Matt McCasland, who is filling in for a couple of games for head coach Heath Gerstner. “We preach a lot about first-pitch strikes, getting up on hitters early and how much that really reduces your pitch count. That let’s you go five or six innings instead of three or four innings. And we played good defense behind him. We didn’t make errors. Errors lead to more pitches.”

Alex Sitts was the offensive instigator with three hits, including a triple.

It was pretty quiet for McPherson in the second game as it bookended singletons in the first and last innings. Salina’s triumvirate of hurlers did a good job with their varying speeds.

“Salina has had a good program for years and they’re never easy,” McCasland said. “It’s tough to come out and win two baseball games.”

Kalkhorst and Dylan Werries had RBIs for McPherson.

Post 24, now 4-3, is scheduled to play this weekend in Newton, weather permitting.