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Myers’ No-Hitter Sparks Sweep of Circle

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By: Joel Muhs, McPherson Sentinel

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MCPHERSON, Kan. (mcphersonsentinel.com) – One week after dropping their season opener against Buhler, the McPherson Bullpups baseball team used stellar pitching and big bats to power past Circle in gusty winds to sweep the Thunderbirds and earn their first two wins of the season.

To open the 2023 high school baseball season last Thursday, McPherson would fall short against rival Buhler after the Crusaders came back from a three-run deficit two separate times to come away with an 8-7 victory over McPherson. This Thursday, however, was a different story as the Bullpups dominated Circle 14-0 in game one of the double header and 12-2 in game two for two run-rule victories during the sweep, which included a no-hit performance from Jaret Myers on the mound in game one.

“Just a really good performance. It seemed like every out we had was loud. Just a lot of barrels,” McPherson head baseball coach Heath Gerstner said about his team’s overall performance against Circle. “Can’t say enough about Jaret. I had no idea it was a no-hitter until that last inning and I was afraid to say anything because that almost messes it up. It’s been a fun thing to watch him mature and he’s having so much fun out there.”

During McPherson’s home opener at Grant Complex, the Bullpups battled stiff winds that reached gusts up to 50 miles per hour. Despite the heavy wind, McPherson strung together 24 hits between the two games and scored 26 runs to put away the Thunderbirds with ease.

To take advantage of the wind that was blowing out to left field, three home runs were fired off the bats of the Bullpups as Hunter Alvord (two-run home run in game two), Teegan Haines (three-run home run in game one) and Jaytin Gumm (two-run inside the park home run in game one) recorded the first three homes runs of the season for McPherson.

“A night like tonight where you get fifty miles per hour wind at times, we really wanted to attack their hitters. Number one, we can’t give up any free bases. We know guys are going to catch a barrel here and there and that the ball is going to go crazy, but I thought we played great defense,” Gerstner said about the gusty winds. “We just seemed so much more loose tonight compared to a week ago at Buhler, I thought we pressed a little bit.”

In game one, Myers threw 58 pitches in five innings of work as 45 of those pitches came in as strikes. The senior also struck out seven Thunderbirds and didn’t allow a single player to reach base. Three runs in the first inning helped McPherson jump out to a 3-0 lead, but Haines’ three-run shot in the second inning highlighted a six-run second inning that blew the game open. The Bullpups added four more runs in the third, with two of those runs coming off Gumm’s inside-the-park home run, and another in the fourth to come away with the 14-0 game-one win.

Game two saw Alvord take the mound for McPherson, but a two-run home run by Circle’s Landon Haines made it a 2-0 Thunderbird lead after the top of the first. However, Alvord responded immediately with a two-run home run of his own in the bottom half of the first to help McPherson reclaim a 3-2 lead through one. Three more runs in the second, four in the third and one run in both the fourth and fifth innings sealed the 12-2 win in game two for the sweep.

“One thing these guys absolutely love to do is hit. They get so tired of me pounding the pitching and the defense, but they would hit all day and all night,” Gerstner said about the firepower his team brings on the offensive end. “We made the week of practice challenging. They’ll get frustrated with me in practice and I tell them all of the time if we make practice tougher than the game, then hopefully on game days we shine a little bit and I think we saw some rewards of that tonight.”

McPherson will look to extend its winning streak on Monday when they visit 2022 class 3A state champion Wichita Collegiate for a doubleheader. The Spartans are off to a 4-0 start in 2023 after sweeping El Dorado and Clearwater to begin the season.

“That’s going to be a heck of a challenge. They won 3A state last year and I thought 3A was an unbelievable division,” Gerstner said about facing Collegiate. “Top to bottom, they’re a really good baseball team. Both of their number one and two arms are back and I’ll be curious if they save those guys for us. It’s a great challenge and I’m excited to see them on our schedule. I love playing in games like that and it’ll be good for us.”

The first pitch against Collegiate will be thrown out at 4:00 P.M. on Monday and then the Bullpups will be back in action again next Thursday when they host rival Buhler at 4:00 P.M.

McPherson Batting Stats:

Game 1: Jaytin Gumm – 2-3, 3 R, 1 BB. Hunter Alvord – 2-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Dawson Feil – 2-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Brock Burgess – 3 R. Cade Wedel – 1-2, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB. Jaret Myers – 0-1, 1 BB. Teegan Haines – 2-2, 1 R, 4 RBI. Hadlee Backhus – 1 R. Gavin Richardson – 0-2, 1 RBI. Brock Richardson – 0-2, 1 R. Owen Fetsch – 1-2, 2 R. Team – 10-20, 14 R, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 1 SO.

Game 2: Jaytin Gumm – 2-2, 3 R, 2 BB. Hunter Alvord – 3-4, 3 R, 3 RBI. Dawson Feil – 3-3, 2 RBI. Brock Burgess – 0-1, 2 R. Cade Wedel – 1-1, 1 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB. Jaret Myers – 0-2, 1 BB. Hadlee Backhus – 0-1, 1 SO. Teegan Haines – 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI. Gavin Richardson – 1-2, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Carter Allen – 0-3. Team – 14-26, 12 R, 9 RBI, 7 BB, 1 SO.

McPherson Pitching Stats:

Game 1: Jaret Myers – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 7 SO, 0 BB.

Game 2: Hunter Alvord – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 SO, 3 BB. Carter Allen – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 SO, 0 BB. Jaytin Gumm – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 SO, 0 BB.

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