Whatever batting practice Blue Springs South’s baseball team might have lost Wednesday when the stiff wind blew over and mangled its home plate bubble cage, the Jaguars made up for in the first two innings.
Boosted by several wind-aided hits, the Jaguars batted around to plate four runs in the first inning, then sent up 13 batters in the second and scored 10 runs on their way to a 16-4, five-inning Suburban Big Six win over visiting Lee’s Summit North.
“When you get that kind of wind, you know all kinds of odd things can happen,” South coach Ben Baier said after his team improved to 11-6 overall and 3-1 in the Big Six. “But we also hit the ball hard today. We put some good swings on the ball.”
Winning pitcher Reece Eddins, who helped himself at the plate by going 3 for 3 with an RBI single, a double and a two-run homer, echoed Baier in saying that the Jags emphasized hitting line drives during pregame warmups.
“Don’t try to hit a fly ball with the wind, because it won’t happen,” Eddins said.
On the mound, the University of Nebraska-bound right hander did his best to make the sure Broncos (5-8, 1-3) didn’t benefit from crazy fly balls, too.
After yielding singles to three of the first four batters, including Nick Gavin’s RBI poke to right, Eddins fanned a pair to strand runners at second and third. In his last three innings only a line-out to center got in the air, as Eddins induced four grounders and finished with seven strikeouts.
“It’s always good to keep it down anyways, to help your outfielders,” he said. “With the wind like that, it can get out of hand.”
No less than five of South’s hits, including two each by Eddins and Colton Pogue, got some help from the stiff wind out to left center, either falling in between fielders or giving the left fielder fits near the fence. Two no-doubters, though, were home runs to left field by Pogue and Eddins, the 2-3 hitters, to bookend the 10-run second.
“I honestly thought it was just going down the line and I’d try to get a double out of it,” Eddins said of his home run.
Pogue finished 4 for 4 with a double in addition to his homer, five RBIs and four runs. Austin Simms and Braden Younkin each doubled twice, and leadoff hitter Jacob Clark (3 runs) and Nic Mertes also clubbed doubles for the Jaguars.
In addition to their struggles with the wind, the Broncos also botched a rundown in the second and committed an error that contributed to the Jaguars’ final two runs. Starting pitcher Tregg Pohlman allowed 13 hits, two walks and 14 runs in 1 2/3 innings.
“We cued up the circus music and kept playing it,” North coach Jeff Diekmann said. “I felt good after the first (half) inning. We didn’t score as much as I’d like there, but I thought, ‘All right.’
“If you can’t catch a fly ball wherever it’s hit, it’s tough. Tregg, in all fairness, did a halfway decent job – kept his composure while watching his teammates kick the ball around. He probably threw a five-inning game in two innings.”
North scored three in the fifth off Simms thanks to a double-play grounder with the bases loaded and Andrew Warner’s two-run home run.
Diekmann called the game an “all-time stinker,” but Baier sees Wednesday as part-aberration.
“I know they’re too well-coached of a team, it’ll be a different team when we see them again,” Baier said of North. “We happened to be on the happy end today.”