With his Class 5 District 14 start on the line in the top of the third inning, Blue Springs junior Ethan Broker came up with the biggest strikeout of the season.
Truman had the bases loaded and No. 3 hitter Josh Patrick at the plate.
“I knew I had to get out of that inning and I challenged the hitter and got a strikeout,” said Broker, who finished with eight strikeouts as he allowed just four hits in blanking the Patriots 7-0 Monday afternoon at Blue Springs South High School.
The game was scheduled for Grain Valley High School, but wet grounds forced the game to be moved to South. If the field at Grain Valley is playable, the 11-22 Wildcats will meet top-seeded Grain Valley in the semifinals at 4 p.m. today. If the field is not playable, the game will be played on South’s turf field at approximately 2 p.m. The times have to be moved up because there are no lights on the Blue Springs South field.
“It didn’t feel like a 7-0 game because it was so close for the first four innings,” Broker said. “There was no score when they loaded the bases and we scored a run in the third and fourth innings and then a couple of runs in the fifth and just felt more confident pitching the more runs we scored.”
Tanner Martin’s RBI single gave Blue Springs a 1-0 lead in the third and Aiden Smith’s RBI double in the fourth made it 2-0.
Martin’s suicide squeeze bunt gave Broker a 3-0 lead and Martin later scored on a wild pitch.
Aiden Smith hit a solo homer in the sixth and Mitchell Smith added a two-run homer to account for the final score.
“This is the team I’ve been waiting on all season – great pitching, timely hitting, solid defense,” Blue Springs coach Tim McElligott said. “This was a great team win and Ethan was lights out, out on the mound.”
Truman coach Corey Lathom was sad to see his team’s season come to an end.
“A lot of good seniors on our team,” Lathrom said. “That last loss is tough. You never want to say goodbye to a group of good players like our seniors.”
Zach Servi had two of the three Truman hits, on third and seventh inning singles.
Senior Kyler Barnett suffered the loss.