The Blue Springs South baseball team took a bend-but-don’t break approach to their 10-7 Class 5 District 14 semifinal win over Fort Osage Tuesday afternoon.
It seemed like every time the Jaguars gave starter Matthew Trout a little breathing room, the Indians would roar back and cut into the deficit.
Then the Jaguars enjoyed a lengthy five-run sixth inning to take a 10-3 lead. The Indians again, roared back to score four runs in the top of the sixth, but it was too little too late as the No. 2 seeded Jaguars meet No. 1 seed Grain Valley (a 3-2 winner over Blue Springs) in a championship game tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m. today at South (the game could be moved to the original host site of Grain Valley is water can be pumped from the outfield).
“Our kids showed a lot of toughness today,” South coach Ben Baier said after his team improved to 16-12. “We’d score and they would come right back and score, but we kept scoring and got some big hit and when we really needed a big out, our pitchers were able to get it.”
The catalyst for much of the Jaguars offense was leadoff man Grant Geren, who opened the game with a triple and scored on Caleb Israelite’s ground out to second base.
He later singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a grounder by John Herrman. Geren walked in his third at-bat and walked again in the fifth and scored on Herrman’s bases-loaded, three-run double.
“This is the biggest win of the season, because if we had lost today, our season would have come to an end,” Geren said. “Coach Baier talks all the time about playing as a team, playing for the guy standing next to you in the field or in the dugout, and I think we did that today.
“This was a complete game win and we’re going to have to play a great game tomorrow because Grain Valley has a really good team.”
Fort Osage leadoff man Ethan Gotch also had a big day for his team, getting two hits, and scoring a run and driving home a run. Micah Copeland had a two-run double in the four-run sixth inning.
“Our guys played hard, but we made way too many errors – I think they gave us four – but we had a lot more than that if you want to count our mental errors,” Fort Osage coach Todd Bissell said after his team finished an 11-16 season.
“We wanted to win today, you could tell that by how hard we played and how we kept coming back. This is one of those tough ones to lose, especially when you have to say goodbye to your seniors, and we have some great seniors on this team.”