Organizers of the third annual Hooper Showcase Summer Baseball Tournament can’t be accused of giving the home team a first-round breather Friday night.
McPherson and the Kansas Indians (the Fort High School team that was ranked No. 2 in Class 4A Division I most of the season) hooked up in a dandy of a game to close out the first day of play at Grant Complex.
The Indians pushed across an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning for a walk-off 4-3 victory. Post 24 consisted mainly of the players who led McPherson High to a second-place 4A Division I state finish.
It was a back-and-forth game that featured tremendous pitching from McPherson’s Marcus McDaniel and Fort Scott’s Wyatt Rechl. Both went the distance with McDaniel being the tough-luck loser.
“I thought we played pretty stinking good,” McPherson coach Tony Schmidt said matter of factly. “That’s the best quality loss we’ve had all year. We bobbled a couple here right at the end and they had a hit over here (first base) that hit the lip and kind of cost us some. I’ve got no complaints. Marcus pitched a heck of a game.”
The Indians led 1-0 until McPherson (which was the visitors due to a coin flip) pushed across two runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Cody Starkel and Caleb Schmidt.
Fort Scott halved the game at 2-2, but McPherson went back ahead on an RBI groundout by Mikey Saverino in the fifth inning.
But a run in the sixth for the Indians tied it, and an error to start the bottom of the seventh opened the door for the winning rally.
Schmidt believes for the most part Post 24 played well.
“We did little things right tonight,” Schmidt said. “We hustled the whole game. They were into it.”
McPherson will play Concordia at 3 p.m. Saturday. Concordia lost 7-3 to the Kansas Green Cannons, a team Post 24 plays later at 7:00. Sunday’s game times will be determined by Saturday’s results.
• FRIDAY’S SCORES •
Great Bend 8, Kansas Black Cannons 5
Kansas Green Cannons 7, Concordia 3
Junction City 8, BC Cubs 7
Salina 2, Newton 1
El Dorado 2, Arkansas City 1
Buhler 11, Hutchinson 2
Emporia 5, Midwest Expos 0
Kansas Indians (Fort Scott) 4, McPherson 3