Maize South’s hopes of continuing an unbeaten season were put to a halt on Monday night. The Mavericks won game one of the doubleheader against McPherson, 9-4 before falling 12-8 in the night cap.
“Our guys knew this was going to be a tough week,” Maize South coach Scott Christensen said. “We knew that starting with the first pitch this afternoon until the final pitch tomorrow night against Eisenhower is going to be a big test for us.”
Maize South’s pitching struggles forced Christensen to use eight pitchers in doubleheader.
“I wanted to go two (pitchers) in the first game and two in the second, but that didn’t work out,” Christensen said. “I think we allowed 19 guys on base tonight between walking and or hitting batters, we can’t do that and win games.”
Maize South (11-1) scored three runs in the first inning of the first game, then four more in the second to jump out to a 7-1 lead. Logan Vicin started the inning with a one-out triple to left, and four of the next five Mavericks reached base.
McPherson coach Heath Gerstner hoped his team would battle back in the second game after putting up a fight late in the first game.
“I thought my guys battled back really well,” Gerstner said. “Maize South is a really good team, a team that will probably make it to the state tournament and to hand them their first loss is huge for us.”
McPherson (12-4) scored in each of the first four innings of the second game, including a four-run fourth. Five straight McPherson batters reached base, four of which came around to score. Maize South tried to battle back in the bottom of the sixth inning, cutting the Bullpups’ lead from 12-4 to 12-8, but ended the inning with a bases-loaded groundout.
“We had a perfect opportunity with the bases full,” Christensen said. “We had guys going up to the plate with not a very good approach and we had a guy hit a weak grounder on a 2-0 count, something that shouldn’t have happened.”
Maize South hosts Eisenhower (10-2) on Tuesday afternoon in another big test.
“Eisenhower is a very good team with a lot of talent,” Christensen said. “They’ve got a lot of fight in them and we’ve got a lot of fight in us, it’s going to come down to who can make baseball plays between the two schools.”
Maize South 9, McPherson 4
McPherson 3, Maize South 1