McPHERSON — Both the Great Bend Braves and McPherson each rallied to win a game, splitting a Class A American Legion baseball doubleheader on Wednesday night.
In Game 1, the Braves scored seven runs in the seventh inning to win 19-16, and McPherson scored six in the sixth of Game 2 to win 11-6.
“That first game got over at 9:45 (p.m.),” Braves head coach Jordan Metro said of Game 1, which lasted more than three hours. “We got down early, and then our bats just came alive, which was what we were hoping to see in these games.
“They just ran out of gas in the second game.”
McPherson shot out early in the opener against Great Bend (4-4), leading 12-2 after the third.
The Braves gained ground in the fourth with four runs and the fifth with five. Heading into the top of the seventh, the Braves trailed 15-11.
Great Bend batted through the order and got six of its 18 hits in the seventh to take the lead for the first time in the game.
“They showed a lot of heart in that first game,” Metro said. “They were down 12-2, and to be able to come back is incredible. We had a bunch of kids come out of their slumps at the plate at the right time.”
Shade Wondra led the Braves at the plate. He finished 5-for-5 with three doubles, three runs scored and seven runs batted in.
Dillon Reiser was 4-for-5, including a double with three runs scored.
Jack Westhoff started on the mound for the Braves, but it was Mitch Johnson who finished the game and got the win.
In the second game, the Braves were able to score four runs in the first, and held the lead until the bottom of the sixth.
Tristan Hall started for Great Bend.
“Tristan pitched really well,” Metro said. “He went five innings. We were leading when he came out. We just ran out of steam, I think.”
Wondra was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles in the nightcap.
“Shade hit really well in both games,” Metro said. “He came out of a slump. So did Dillon Reiser. That was our goal coming into the game, getting our bats alive before this weekend’s tournament.”
The Braves travel to Pratt tonight for back-to-back games to open the Pratt wood bat tournament. Great Bend faces Minneola at 6, and Pratt at 8.
The Braves play against Buhler on Saturday night at 8, before starting elimination games on Sunday.
— Kevin Price