For weeks, Blue Springs South baseball coach Ben Baier has been telling his Jaguars that their bats would come to life.

For weeks, Blue Springs South baseball coach Ben Baier has been telling his Jaguars that their bats would come to life.
“I guess we just listened to him long enough and finally began to believe it,” said pitcher Stuart Pudenz, who will take the mound at 4 p.m. today when the 14-10 Jaguars meet a 22-5 Lee’s Summit North team in Class 4 sectional action at North.
“We’re a lot more confident team than we’ve been all season. We always knew we could hit, and now we’re doing it in the games that really count.”
Derek Cox, who had a big four-RBI postseason game against archrival Blue Springs in a 6-4 district victory and saved last week’s 10-7 district championship win over Rockhurst, agrees.
“It wasn’t that we didn’t hit early in the season, it’s that we didn’t get any timely hits,” Cox said. “Now, we’re getting the hits when they really matter.”
The Jaguars have lost both games this season against the Broncos, including a 1-0 heartbreaker in which Pudenz lost his only game of the season.
“We’re getting the hits and I’m really positive going into the game (today),” Pudenz said. “It’s raining today (Monday), but I know they’re going to do everything they can to get the game in. We’re excited and we’re confident.”
That’s a good combination for the Jaguars.
“This is a young team, and it took a while for the kids to really come around,” said Baier, the Jaguars’  first-year coach. “We’re very confident every time Stuart is on the mound. We lost a doubleheader to North earlier this year. We lost the 1-0 game with Stuart on the mound, and then they beat us pretty good in that second game.
“But the kids can learn from that. I’d like to think they’ve learned from every game this season. I know we’re really swinging the bats real well right now and we have our ace going for us.
“They say it’s tough to beat a good team three times in one season, but I know that Coach (Jeff) Diekmann has a very strong team and that they’re going to be ready for us.
“This is just a great time of year, and it’s great to still be playing baseball.”
Lee’s Summit North edged Lee’s Summit 9-8 to claim the District 13 crown.
CLASS 3 SECTIONAL: For the first time in four seasons, coach Mark Lyford’s Grain Valley baseball team is advancing to sectional play.
“It’s just a shame it’s finals week and it’s all the way in Kirksville, so we probably won’t have a lot of fans there,” Lyford said. “But the kids are excited, and I’m excited for them.”
Grain Valley’s David Richards hit his 10th home run of the season as Grain Valley downed Odessa 11-1 in six innings last Wednesday to claim the Class 3 District 14 title.
 “We’ve talked about the past district champions (2003-05) and how they played as a team,” Lyford said. “We talked about how they all went out and dyed their hair blonde, so these guys went out and did the same thing.”
Junior Payton Bosserman was on the mound for the Eagles in the district championship and is expected to take the ball again at 5 p.m. today for the Eagles.
“Bosserman has had a great year,” Lyford said. “He deserves to start this game.”
When asked about Kirksville, the Eagles coach didn’t know a lot.
“I don’t know a thing about them,” he said. “We’ve had some common opponents and we beat the opponents that they beat, so we’ll try to find out some things about them leading up to the game.”