Blue Springs South does little things right in win over rival Blue Springs
Coach Ben Baier believes playing small ball can lead to big victories.
That was certainly the case Wednesday afternoon as Blue Springs South continued its stranglehold on crosstown rival Blue Springs with a 7-2 Suburban Big Eight Conference victory that featured strong pitching, solid defense and a few little things that don't get noticed by the common fan.
South has defeated Blue Springs in seven of their last eight meetings.
"We're leading 5-2 in the fifth and we get a hit and a walk to start the inning," Baier said after his Jaguars improved to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference. "Ty Campbell lays down the perfect sacrifice bunt and gets the runners over to second and third and Grant Hollister knocks them in with a double.
"No one is going to remember that sacrifice bunt, but those are the little things that win games."
So are pickoffs, double plays and some Gold Glove-caliber fielding.
"We played a nice, complete game," Baier added. "Colton (Minks) gave us five strong innings and Tristin (Trieb) came in and was great in relief."
Trieb entered the game in the sixth inning with runners on second and third with one out and struck out the next two Wildcats.
"I wasn't really trying to get strikeouts," Trieb said, "I was just throwing hard and throwing strikes. The strikeouts are nice, especially with a runner on third and one out, but my guys play great defense."
In fact, the game ended on a unique double play as left fielder Austin Jordan made a long, running catch and doubled a Wildcat off second base with a perfect throw to shortstop Quinton Robertson.
"The guys played great tonight, offensively and defensively," said Minks, who allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. "It's always fun to play your crosstown rival. We've had a lot of success against them, it's a game you get up for."
Blue Springs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on an RBI single by Alec Butler and a sacrifice fly from Taylor Warren, but that lead was short lived as the Jaguars scored four runs in the bottom of the inning.
“Against any team when you get up you need to keep putting pressure on them,” Blue Springs coach Tim McElligott said. “It was only the second inning and a lot of game left, and we had chances to get a run here and there, but we have to do a better job of executing.”
Hollister, who played a big part in the Jaguars rallying for the win with a single, double, four RBIs and two runs, was happy the Jaguars could maintain their recent dominance over the Wildcats.
"It's great to play a big rival like Blue Springs and win," Hollister said. "Our pitching was great – we did everything you need to do to win a game like this."
Isaiah Frost, Trenton Roehler and Ben Bryan each had two hits for the Jaguars.
Trent Martin had two hits for McElligott’s young team, which dropped to 6-9 overall and 1-5 in the Suburban Big Eight.
“We are playing young kids and learning every day. This is a resilient group that comes and works every day,” McElligott said. “I know this loss has left a bad taste and it is only going to make them work harder. We will be ready to play against Ray-Pec (Thursday) and Shawnee Mission East and Olathe West on Saturday.”