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Examiner
  • Jags stun Rockhurst in walk-off

  • Blue Springs South right-hander Reece Eddins has ice water running through his veins.

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  • Blue Springs South right-hander Reece Eddins has ice water running through his veins.
    His teammate Zac Slaven had it poured over his head.
    The two juniors played key roles in Blue Springs South’s dramatic 2-1 eight-inning walk-off Class 5 sectional victory over Rockhurst Tuesday night at Kansas City 3&2 Stadium.
    Eddins, who struck out eight and allowed just five base hits, pitched out of a man-on-third-with-no-out jam in the top of the eighth inning, and Slaven, a pinch hitter, drove in Colton Pogue with the winning run in the bottom of the frame.
    The win sends the 14-7 Jaguars into a home Class 5 state quarterfinal game Thursday against 19-7 Staley, an 8-2 winner over Fort Osage. The time has not been determined.
    “That was a classic,” South coach Ben Baier said. “Reece was great out on the bump; Slaven got the big pinch hit, but everyone contributed to this win.”
    Slaven was called on to pinch hit in the No. 6 position in the order because designated hitter Dominic DeFeo had singled and doubled and been pinch run for each time.
    “I burned Dom when I pinch ran for him the second time,” Baier said, shaking his head. “But Slaven looked good in BP and he can hit a fastball – and (Joe Huber) was throwing a lot of fastballs for Rockhurst.”
    With one out in the eighth, Pogue singled. Austin Simms then popped out to the catcher in an unsuccessful attempt to sacrifice Pogue to second.
    But as he has done so many times this season, Eddins helped his own cause with a sharp single to center.
    “They told me to grab a bat if Dom’s position came up in the eighth,” said Slaven, who was dunked with cold water by a large group of South students who made the trek to 3&2 Stadium. “It feels good to get a hit like that because Reece was pitching so well. He really deserved the win.
    “I can hit a fastball, and their starter was throwing a lot of fastballs. I waited for my pitch and got what I was looking for.”
    He stroked a fastball to center field. As Pogue rounded third base, Travis Able grabbed the ball and fired to home plate. But his throw was off target and Pogue slid across with the winning run.
    “There were two outs, so I was off with the crack of the bat,” said Pogue, who made a great fielding play in the top of the inning to rob Billy Maloney of a potential RBI single. “I knew I had to beat the throw. I didn’t want to do anything stupid and make an out.”
    Neither did Eddins, who watched his teammate from second base.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I wanted to be careful at second and not get picked off, or make an out,” Eddins said. “But they weren’t thinking about me. They were trying to get Colton at home.”
    When asked about pitching out of the jam in the eighth, when he got two groundouts and a pop-out to second with the go-ahead run on third, Eddins said, “I knew my defense would help me get out of it if I just threw the right pitches.
    “Colton made a big play at short and Austin (Simms) made a nice play at first to hold the runner at third,” Eddins said. “After the (leadoff) error, Coach Baier came out, calmed us down and we went back to work.”
    DeFeo hit a double and Braden Younkin followed with an RBI double to give the Jaguars their first run against Huber, who sought out Eddins after the game.
    With tears still rolling down his face, Huber told Eddins, “Great game.”
    Eddins shook his hand and later said, “That was pure class. He loses a tough game like that and comes over to congratulate me. That’s why it’s so great to play a game like this against a classy team like Rockhurst. He didn’t have to do that, but he did. It just makes me proud to have played in this game.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     
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