EMPORIA — The offense provided the impetus in a first-game victory, then pitching and defense took over as McPherson’s Senior American Legion completed a sweep of Emporia on Wednesday.
McPherson doubled up Emporia 14-7 in Game 1, with Cody Starkel picking up the victory by going five innings and Caleb Schmidt pitched the final two.
McPherson coach Tony Schmidt said frenzied hitting was the key. “We had hitting by committee, everybody contributed,” he said.
The second game was a polar opposite. Mikey Saverino’s two-run double in the first inning was all that Marcus McDaniel needed as the curveball specialist spinned a shutout in a 2-0 victory.
“He had all four pitches working,” Schmidt said. “He’s tough when he’s doing that.”
McPherson improved to 11-8 and takes some momentum into Friday’s doubleheader at Newton. Post 24 will be looking to avenge a 7-0 loss from last weekend’s Hooper Summer Showcase, a game that was close until the final two innings. The Knights are loaded with players who just graduated off Newton’s Class 5A state tournament team, while most of the McPherson players have one more season as a Bullpup.
“A sweep at Newton would be huge,” said Schmidt, who is hoping the team can start to get on a roll as postseason play is now three weeks away.