BUHLER – Not in a million years did anybody see this coming.
Hays jumped on McPherson High’s baseball team for eight first-inning runs on Tuesday and then added five in the second before going on to end the Bullpups’ season 16-2 in the first round of the Class 4A Division I Regional Tournament.
Riding the emotional high, the Indians then stunned the defending state champion Buhler Crusaders 9-7 to advance to state after everyone thought it would be an MHS-Buhler rematch for the title, just as in last year’s regional finals.
“Without question, not the way our team envisioned our season ending,” MHS coach Heath Gerstner said. “Hays is a well-coached team, but without question (we) would love to have another shot at them today. Unfortunately, that is not the way the regional format works."
The Bullpups got little going offensively with just four hits, two of them doubles by Dylan Werries. But the Hays bats were white-hot, led by Tyrone Wynn as he was 4 for 4 with a homer and double, good for seven RBIs.
Raine Reitsma took the loss for the Bullpups.
“I am so proud of our guys and specifically our seniors,” Gerstner said. “They never once hung their heads or felt sorry for themselves. Just kept battling and I know Hays never felt comfortable with the score until they were shaking hands."
MHS finishes the year 12-7 and was ranked No. 5 in Class 4A Division I.
"I told them in postgame, I am blessed to be their coach,” Gerstner said. “They come to practice every single day with a great attitude and a mindset to get better. They are all growing into fine young men and that is what really matters most. Baseball is the ultimate failure game and we will go back to work this summer and fall for next spring. This team has accomplished things and put our program on the map. I am constantly amazed at the respect we have across the state for great baseball."
MHS (2) — Werries 2-1-2-0, Saverino 2-1-0-0, C. Hoover 3-0-1-0, Myers 2-0-0-0, Seidl 2-0-0-0, Sitts 2-0-1-1, Reiss 2-0-0-0, Reed 2-0-0-0, G. Hoover 2-0-0-0.