Prep baseball roundup: Blue Springs starts season-opening tourney with pair of wins

By The Examiner staff

The Blue Springs baseball team is just one win away from playing for a spot in the season-opening KC Metro Leadoff Tournament.

The Wildcats downed Smithville 8-2 and Lee’s Summit North 11-7 in the first two games of pool play Friday at Creekside Baseball Park in Parkville.

Blue Springs jumped on top 6-0 after two innings in the win over Smithville. Austin Neuweg hit a two-run triple to spark a three-run first inning, and the Wildcats added three more in the second.

Nate England, with relief help from Joey Gibler and Myles Chapman, earned the win, allowing just one hit and one walk and no runs in 3 ⅔ innings.

Freshman Nick Gibler added two hits and two RBIs.

“Played good for our first game in over a year,” Wildcats coach Tim McElligott said. “The top of our lineup, Taylor Warren and Gavin Smith, each had a hit, but also had three runs. They set the table for our lineup.  Very happy to get the first one under our belt.”

In the win over Lee’s Summit North, the Wildcats erupted for five runs in the top of the seventh to break a 6-6 tie.

“They kept competing, which was great to see with not a lot of experience on the field,” McElligott said. “They ran the bases, which put pressure on North’s defense. It was a good team win.”

Nick Gibler, who had two hits, earned the win in relief.

Gavin Smith, Lincoln Stephenson, Cole Gibler and Brogan Turner each had two singles and two RBIs to lead the Wildcats (2-0). 

The Wildcats face Rockhurst Monday for the pool title and a spot in the semifinals later Monday.

JAGS SWEEP: Blue Springs South got its season off to a winning start, sweeping a pair of non-conference home games Saturday.

The Jaguars pounded out 29 hits to top Fort Osage 10-0 in six innings and Park Hill South 14-6. Fort Osage also lost 15-6 to Park Hill South.

Winning pitcher Wyatt Clark and relievers Ethan Watson and Braden Jurgensmeyer combined to strike out 15 batters and allow just three hits in the combined shutout against Fort Osage.

Ben Bryan had three hits, including a double, and three RBIs to lead South’s offense. Isaiah Frost, Grant Hollister and Trenton Trieb each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Frost and Hollister had doubles.

“It was great to get back out on the field and compete. Guys were ready to go and they did a nice job,” Jaguars coach Ben Baier said. “I felt like our pitchers did a good job of attacking their hitters early in the count as well. I also felt like we squared some balls up with the bats today, which was good to see.”

The Jaguars (2-0) tallied 16 hits in the win over Park Hill South. Frost had three hits, including a triple and double, and drove in three runs to lead Blue Springs South’s offense. Jordan Austin had two hits and three RBIs and Quinton Robertson, Bryan, Trieb and Hollister each added two hits.

John Chambers went 4 2/3 innings in relief, striking out seven and walking two for the win.

TRUMAN WINS TWO: Truman got its season off to a 2-0 start, topping St. Michael the Archangel Catholic 5-1 and edging Lincoln Prep 8-7 in nine innings Saturday at Truman.

Truman broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the bottom of the third inning and added two more in the sixth in the win over St. Michael.

Dawson Torpey allowed two hits and one run and struck out four in three innings for the win. Brandon Lindle earned the save.

Bryce Greenwalt had a hit and two RBIs and Randy Ayala and Caleb Lockwood each had a hit and an RBI to lead the Patriots. Matt Davis a double and an RBI for the Guardians.

In the win over Lincoln Prep, Truman rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie it 6-6 and send the game into extra innings.

Toby Bingham singled to score Brady Ruks-Bond in the bottom of the ninth inning for the walk-off win.

Ruks-Bond went 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs. Ben Kerby was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Sam Scott was 2-for-4 with two runs for Truman.

Kayne Braxton earned the win in relief, allowing no hits and one unearned run while striking out three in two innings. Starter Dane Blankenship struck out six and allowed five hits and no runs in four innings.

FALCONS DROP TWO: Van Horn dropped an opening doubleheader against Lathrop, falling 7-1 and 9-4 to the host Mules Saturday.

Korey Messick suffered the loss and got Van Horn’s lone hit in the 7-1 loss.

Lathrop scored five runs in the fourth inning to break a 4-4 tie in the 9-4 loss. Andrew Murphy had the Falcons’ lone hit and two RBIs and Kaleb Johnson drove in a run.

SAVANNAH 11, OAK GROVE 5: Evan Howard went 2-for-3 with a double and four RBIs but it wasn’t enough to get past Savannah Saturday.

After Oak Grove cut the deficit to 5-4 with a run in the third inning, Savannah scored four runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to put it out of reach.

Halden Armstrong went 2-for-3 with a run and Dalton Chaney had a hit and an RBI for the Panthers.