For 3 1/2 years, all Blue Springs senior Devon Sesler has dreamed about is taking the mound in a varsity game against the cross-town rival Blue Springs South Jaguars.
His dream came true Wednesday afternoon at Reynolds Field, and a Hollywood screenwriter couldn’t have come up with a better script as Sesler scattered four hits and led his Wildcats to a 2-0 Suburban Big Six win despite the fact that South starter Reece Eddins fired a no-hitter.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier for a kid,” first-year Blue Springs coach Tim McElligott said after the Wildcats improved to 12-13 and 4-4. “He pitched freshman baseball and was on junior varsity the last two years, and he gets his chance to start against them and finds a way to win when Eddins throws a no-hitter.
“That’s the stuff dreams are made of. And let’s be honest, baseball is a mom and dad, girlfriend and family member setting where you don’t get a lot of people at the games. And today, the stands are packed, they’re standing all around the fence, sitting on the hill and Devon turns in a performance none of us are ever going to forget.”
Eddins will likely never forget his gem, either.
“I guess you don’t always win when you throw a no-hitter,” said Eddins, who walked four, with two of those runners scoring the Wildcat runs. “Their kid threw a good game. We hit the ball hard today, but it was either right at someone or came with no one on base.
“Both teams played well. This is my first no-hitter, so I guess I’ll remember it. They guys played great behind me. We just couldn’t find a way to score.”
That’s because Sesler threw a nasty knuckle-curve that left the Jaguars off balance much of the afternoon.
“All Devon’s pitches were working,” Wildcats catcher Dyllon Williams said, “but the knuckle-curve was his out pitch.”
“They probably don’t see a lot of knuckle-curveballs,” said Sesler, who had six strikeouts and two walks. “They beat me up pretty good in my junior varsity starts, and all I’ve thought about is pitching against them my senior year.
“The guys did a great job today. To score two runs when you don’t get a hit shows how hard we worked to get this win.”
Kirk Finley walked to lead off the bottom of the first inning and eventually scored on a throwing error. Kyle Reed led off the fourth with a walk and Ramon Rivera followed with a walk. Reed went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Brandon Bennefeld’s infield grounder.
“Finley has done a great job since we moved him to the leadoff spot,” McElligott said. “And Bennefeld gets the bat on the ball to score a big insurance run. This is one of those games where you just leave the park feeling good.”
That’s not a feeling experienced by South coach Ben Baier, whose Jaguars fell to 16-10 and 5-4.
“Reece threw a no-hitter, and we lose,” Baier said. “You can’t ask for more from your pitcher. We let their pitcher dictate the game. We swung at a lot of bad pitches and didn’t show any patience at the plate.”