Blue Springs used a familiar weapon Tuesday afternoon to thump visiting Lee’s Summit 10-0 – the long ball.
Junior outfielder Andrew Garry smacked two home runs and senior infielder Nick Brandner hit another to help the Wildcats spread the Tigers in six innings – and hand the 15-3 Tigers their first Suburban Big Seven loss. Garry, who went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice and drove in five runs, got the long ball attack going with a two-out, three-run blast in the first inning.
“For him to get two (homers) here and get us up early against Lee’s Summit, that was a big help,” Blue Springs baseball coach Tim McElligott said.
At first, Garry wondered if the first-inning homer had enough distance to clear the left-field fence.
“When I hit it, I thought it was a pop up at first,” he said. “But I knew that the wind was blowing out pretty (hard) today.”
Mitch Smith’s one-out RBI single made it 4-0 Blue Springs in the third inning.
Brandner made it 5-0 with his one-out solo homer in the fourth. At first, the ball appeared it would be caught as it was clearing the center-field fence.
“I thought he (outfielder) came down with it, until he beat his glove on the ground,” Brandner said. “I had no idea it was out.”
Brandner, who finished 2-for-3 with a walk, will probably remember the homer for a while.
“It was my first home run ever,” he said. “So I was pretty excited.”
Garry led off the fifth inning with a solo homer. Unlike the first homer, there was no doubt it was going out, he suggested.
“I thought I hit it pretty well that time,” Garry said.
Blue Springs covered the 10-run mercy rule spread with a four-run sixth. Ray Paniagua’s two-out, bases-loaded RBI single drove in the final run, putting the Wildcats at 16-6 overall and 4-2 in the league. The Tigers dropped to 6-1 in the conference.
“They’re leading the conference, so this was a good win,” Brandner said.
Wildcats pitcher Peyton Smith capitalized on the home run-fueled run support by tossing a four-hit shutout to improve to 6-1 this season. The senior also struck out two and walked two.
“Today, it looked like he labored a little bit compared to normal Peyton,” McElligott said. “But he only threw 71 pitches through six. He puts the ball in play, we field behind him. When we do that, we’re pretty good.”