McPherson’s Senior American Legion provided Newton with plenty of fungo practice Sunday in its bracket game of the third annual Hooper Summer Showcase Baseball Tournament at Grant Complex.
The befuddling off-speed offerings of the Knights’ Jacob Fulmer flummoxed Post 24 the entire seven innings, as Newton came away with a 7-0 victory in a matchup of teams that had gone 2-1 in pool play.
Fulmer time and again had Post 24 batters lunging and launching skyball after skyball. McPherson managed only three hits and was retired in order in each of the final four innings.
“I’m tired of it (facing slow pitching), it’s not an excuse anymore,” a frustrated McPherson coach Tony Schmidt said as his team finished the Classic 2-2 and is now 9-8 on the season. “We should be barreling up baseballs there. That guy threw 64, 65 miles per hour at the most and his breaking ball didn’t break that much. It didn’t look that much different from his fastball. He had a good plan... we’re going to be .500 if we don’t learn to adjust.”
McPherson’s only hits came from Mikey Saverino, Kolby Reed and Caleb Schmidt. Jacob Loecker pitched into the sixth inning until Schmidt finished up. It was a still a 3-0 game when Loecker left, but the Knights tacked on a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh. They were able to find holes with soft line drives and also hit a couple of high choppers, collecting just six hits in all.
Tony Schmidt thought the Classic was good experience for his team. It lost to eventual tourney champ Fort Scott on Friday, won both games easily on Saturday before losing to a Newton team that included most of the players who were members of the Railers’ high school Class 5A State Tournament team.
“They’re a good team, but it came down to hitting for us — that’s the bottom line,” Schmidt said. “We never tested them to see if they had a good defense.”
Next scheduled McPherson action is Wednesday at Emporia.
• FORT SCOTT WINS TITLE — The Kansas Indians of Fort Scott only got stronger as the Classic went along.
The Indians, who lost in the first round of the Class 4A Division I State Tournament in Salina last month, survived two one-run decisions — including a 4-3 victory over McPherson on Friday — to go 3-0 in pool play.
But once they got into the bracket play, they dominated.
The Indians were an 11-1 winner over the Salina Falcons in the semifinals and then handled Buhler 6-1 in the championship game behind the sparkling pitching of Grant Goldston.
Buhler had advanced to the finals with a 7-0 blanking of Great Bend.
• SUNDAY'S SCORES •
Midwest Expos 15, Concordia 5
Hutchinson 11, Arkansas City 5
Kansas Cannons Black 12, BC Cubs 5
Emporia 12, Kansas Cannons Green 4
Newton 7, McPherson 0
El Dorado 7, Junction City 1
Kansas Indians 11, Salina 1 (semifinals)
Buhler 7, Great Bend 0 (semifinals)
Kansas Indians 6, Buhler 1 (finals)