O’FALLON, Mo. - Blue Springs South senior Colton Pogue, the heart and soul of this special Jaguar team, wants his family and friends to know that a sweet, sweet win will not affect his diabetes.
“No, no chance of that,” Pogue said chuckling. “It’s so sweet to end the season with a win. but it’s not going to affect my diabetes at all. I’ll take a win like this anytime. It’s not the win we’d hoped for, but only two teams finish the season with victories — the first-place and third-place teams, and winning third is going to make for a lot better bus ride back to Blue Springs.”
After scoring just one run in 15 innings, the 24-12 Jaguars strung together three staight hits to claim a 2-1 victory against Vianney Friday afternoon at T.R. Hughes Stadium in the 65th annual Misouri State High School Baseball Championship.
Reece Eddins and Patrick Lemberger singled, with Eddins scoring the game-winning run on a lone fly ball that hugged the right-field line by Cole Benson.
“When Cole came up to the plate, I knew we were going to win,” said Eddins, who has been friends with Benson for years. “I just kind of sensed it. When he got the hit, it was just the greatest feeling to see the guys celebrate.”
Lemberger agreed, adding, “We didn’t swing the bats real well down here, but we knew we had to come back today and find a way to win. We were all confident that we were going to win this game. We really were.”
Before the game, South coach Ben Baier gathered his team in the dugout.
“I told them I wasn’t going to give a rah-rah speech or anything like that,” Baier said, battling his emotions. “I told them they could come out and play like they had all season, or just come out and play like they didn’t want to be here. I knew how they would respond. I’m so proud of them.”
Conner Davis pitched an inning of relief for starter Austin Simms to pick up the win.
“None of us care who wins,” Davis said. “I just came in and did what I’ve done all season. I really wish Austin could have won and I could have gotten the save. But all that really matters is that we won.”
The win was a single-season record 24th for the Jaguars, who reached state for the first time in school history.
“I told these guys before the start of the season this would be a team that our fans would remember,” Baier said, “and they gave us plenty to remember.”