McPHERSON — The Great Bend Braves had two options on Sunday at the Grant Sports Complex.
Win the semifinal game against McPherson and advance to the championship game of the Bob Hooper Classic, or lose and go home.
The Braves couldn’t get their bats going against McPherson and fell 8-0 in five innings of Class A American Legion action.
“I just thought we came out flat,” Braves head coach Kyle LeRoy said. “I mean, big game, and I know it’s early, but we just didn’t have it. It happens. It’s baseball. They did the little things right, and they competed.”
McPherson’s Marcus McDaniel went all five innings on the mound. While he only had two strikeouts, he was able to hold Great Bend to only four baserunners — a Tristan Hall single, two walks and another on a McPherson throwing error.
“Today was one day where we didn’t hit the ball like we should,” LeRoy said. “But it happens. Their pitcher did a great job out there pounding the zone, got ahead of us. There’s nothing you can do about it.”
Tristan Hall started on the mound for the Braves. He went 2 innings, allowing one run each in the first and second before the dam broke. McPherson scored four runs in the bottom of the third.
With one out and a bases juiced, Johnny Allende came on in relief. Hall exited with three strikeouts, allowing two hits and four walks.
“It happens,” LeRoy said of Tristan Hall’s outing. “Everybody has off-days. He just had an off-day. It happens. Last time he pitched, he threw a no-hitter. You can’t complain.
“He had the intensity. He wanted to be out there. It just wasn’t his day.”
Allende finished the game, striking out one, walking two and allowing four hits.
“I thought Johnny competed really well,” LeRoy said. “With the situation being what it was and what was going on, I thought he came on and competed.”
The Braves will join the older Great Bend group to host a Class AAA American Legion doubleheader, as the Chiefs take on Hays tonight, starting at 6, at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
CLASS A AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL
Bob Hooper Classic
Grant Sports Complex
McPherson 8, Great Bend 0
123 45 R H E
Great Bend 000 00 — 0 1 4
McPherson 114 11 — 8 6 1
Tristan Hall, Johnny Allende (3) & Jared Maneth; Marcus McDaniel & Nelson Steiner. W — McDaniel. L — T. Hall. 2B — McPherson (Cody Starkel). 3B — McPherson (Starkel).