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Bullpups Overcome Early Struggles in Mulvane Sweep

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By: Joel Muhs, McPherson Sentinel

[email protected]

 

MCPHERSON, Kan. (mcphersonsentinel.com) – Three days removed from defeating the No. 1 ranked team in class 5A, the McPherson Bullpups baseball team continued its league dominance on Monday at Grant Complex by sweeping Mulvane and improving their season record to 12-4.

Before taking the field against the Wildcats on Monday, McPherson hosted an elite triangular on Friday, April 28 when they welcomed Carl Albert and Blue Valley Southwest. Carl Albert, who rains from Oklahoma, has claimed six state championships at the 5A level since 2007 and plays home to one of MLB’s brightest stars in Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto. Southwest, who is currently defending the class 5A state title, sits as the No. 1 ranked team in 5A and hosts multiple players who have committed to the NCAA Division I level.

McPherson played Carl Albert in Oklahoma last season as the Titans handed the Bullpups one of their two losses with a 3-2 defeat, and the Titans did more of the same this season by defeating McPherson 16-8 in game one of the triangular. However, the Bullpups rebounded with a massive 3-0 win over the Timberwolves behind a gym performance on the mound by Ian Razak, who allowed just one hit.

“You’ve got to talk about Ian. That kid’s going to be special and we’ve known it for a while. He’s just missed the consistency factor at times, but that kid was locked in tonight,” McPherson head baseball coach Heath Gerstner said about Razak’s performance following Friday night’s games. “I thought he could give us a good start against their lefty-dominant lineup. He’s really good against lefties. I never in my mind thought he’d go seven complete innings with a one-hitter.”

In an attempt to build off that massive win over the Timberwolves, McPherson hosted a solid Mulvane team three days later. Although the Wildcats pushed the Bullpups early in game one, McPherson came away with a 9-6 victory in game one and a 10-3 win in game two to keep their momentum going.

In order to complete the sweep of Mulvane, the Bullpups had to manage most of game one and all of game two without Gerstner after getting tossed early on in game one.

“It was the first time in my career watching from the cheap seats. That was a unique situation I have not been a part of,” Gerstner said about his game-one ejection. “I got to go be a dad a little bit and support our team. Credit to our coaches who took over and know what’s going on. Super proud of our kids to get a sweep.”

Two runs by McPherson in the first inning and two runs by Mulvane in the top of the second had the game all tied at two-all going into the bottom of the third. In that third inning, McPherson put up a three-spot behind an RBI single by Brock Richardson, a sac-fly by Jaret Myers and an RBI reach on error by Owen Fetsch to take a 5-2 lead.

Before McPherson could settle into its lead, Mulvane took its first lead of the game after a four-run top of the fourth gave them a 6-5 advantage. McPherson went back in front for good in the fifth inning when Hunter Alvord hammered a bases-clearing three RBI triple to put McPherson ahead 9-6 after an RBI single by Fetsch tied the game at 6-6, which was all done with two outs.

“Late in that game one, we’re down a run and we get a two-out walk and a two-out single to score that run,” Gerstner said about McPherson’s clutch fifth-inning hitting. “Then Hunter gets a triple to really blow it open, but to do all of that with two outs – I thought that was fantastic.”

After Alvord’s triple helped close out the Wildcats 9-6 in game one, the senior continued his hot-hitting in game two by nuking a home run to right field for a 1-0 lead, which kick-started a 3-4 game at the plate as all went for extra-base hits. Three batters later, Gavin Richardson pushed two more runs across with a two-RBI triple before Brock Richardson made it 4-0 with a sac-fly.

Catcher Dawson Feil and first baseman Teegan Haines also sparked the Bullpup offense. Feil finished the game 4-4 at the plate which included an RBI double in the second inning, while Haines went 3-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the third and an RBI double in the fifth for McPherson’s 10th and final run.

“I thought we were hitting some balls extremely hard right out of the gate and I thought we were in attack mode,” Gerstner said about game two. “Obviously we get up eight to nothing and we have a tendency to lack a little bit of focus and finish (games). We’ve got another game on Friday and we wanted to make sure we conserve arms and get guys some work (on the mound).”

Despite Gerstner being suspended for game two as well due to the rules stating a coach must serve another game in suspension when getting ejected, McPherson picked up the 10-3 win and the sweep over Mulvane to close out their league record at 9-1.

“I guess the standard rule is that anybody that gets ejected now is an automatic another game suspension. I could’ve coached game two if I wanted to or I could’ve sat one Friday, but I’m like ‘Let’s get the punishment over because I’m ready to be out of timeout,’” Gerstner said. “Credit to our guys. I’m so glad they responded the right way and took care of business tonight.”

The Bullpups will be back in action on Friday when they host their second quad of the season. The games will begin at 4:00 P.M. at Grant Complex.

McPherson Batting Stats:

Game 1: Jaytin Gumm – 1-2, 2 R, 2 BB. Hunter Alvord – 1-3, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB. Teegan Haines – 1-4, 2 SO. Dawson Feil – 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Gavin Richardson – 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SO. Cade Wedel – 0-1, 2 BB. Brock Richardson – 2-2, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB. Jaret Myers – 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Owen Fetsch – 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI. Team – 9-25, 9 R, 7 RBI, 8 BB, 6 SO.

Game 2: Gumm – 0-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SO. Alvord – 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SO. Haines – 3-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB. Feil – 4-4, 1 RBI. Gavin Richardson – 1-2, 1 R, 3 RBI. Brock Burgess – 0-2, 2 R. Brock Richardson – 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Wedel – 2 BB. Hadlee Backhus – 0-1, 1 BB. Carter Allen – 0-4. Fetsch – 0-4, 1 R, 1 SO. Team – 11-29, 10 R, 9 RBI, 6 BB, 4 SO.

McPherson Pitching Stats:

Game 1: Alvord – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 4 SO, 5 BB. Myers – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 SO, 0 BB.

Game 2: Gumm – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 SO, 4 BB. Brock Richardson – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 SO, 2 BB. Fetsch – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 SO, 3 BB.

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