Jeff Diekmann kept chewing and chewing and chewing on that piece of gum he had in his mouth.

Jeff Diekmann kept chewing and chewing and chewing on that piece of gum he had in his mouth.
“I asked one of my coaches, ‘What’s it mean when your gum falls to pieces in your mouth?’ They said it’s all the acid in your stomach doing weird things to your body,” the Lee’s Summit North baseball coach said. “I must have had a lot of acid tonight, but at least we got the win.”
For the first time in school history, Lee’s Summit North owns a state sectional victory and a berth in the state quarterfinals. But the 4-2 win over Blue Springs South Tuesday didn’t come easy.
The host Broncos turned a 1-1 tie into a three-run lead in the top of the eighth inning on home runs by Caleb Cole and Brad Phillips.
Diekmann and the Broncos, though, had to sit through a tight, bases-loaded situation until reliever Daniel Fuchs coaxed a groundout to third base to end the game and give North a 4-2 victory.
North (23-5) travels to Liberty to play the Blue Jays at 4 p.m. Thursday in the state quarterfinals.
“I am so proud of the guys,” Diekmann said after Dylan Jensen pitched his second gem of the season against South. “Dylan pitched a great game, and we needed it because they threw their ace against us for the second time this season. Runs were hard to come by. Their guy made a couple of bad pitches, and we were able to capitalize.”
Jaguars starter Stuart Pudenz, who lost a 1-0 decision to Jensen and the Broncos in Suburban Big Seven action, took the mound to start the eighth inning and was touched for a solo home run by Cole.
South coach Ben Baier then brought in Danny McMurtrey, who gave up a two-run homer to Phillips.
But South was far from finishing a 14-11 season.
North’s Nick Stone came on in place of Jensen and struck out McMurtrey on a 3-2 pitch. Austin Rodriguez then singled and Justin Ginter was hit by a pitch.
After Logan Moon hit into a fielder’s choice groundout, Nick Gast walked to load the bases.
The next South batter was No. 5 man Derek Cox.
“We knew what he did against Blue Springs,” Diekmann said, referring to a two-run homer and four-RBI game in a 6-4 South win in the district semifinals, “so I told Stone not to give him anything good to hit.”
Cox walked on four pitches, to re-load the bases and force in a run. That brought D’Andre Heggie to the plate.
“The young man had had a tough night, with three strikeouts, and I knew he was due,” Diekmann said, “but I would have rather pitched to him than Cox.”
Heggie grounded out to third to end the game.
“We were very confident with D’Andre up there,” Baier said after a lengthy heart-to-heart postgame talk with his team. “D’Andre hadn’t done much in the game, but he has the ability to turn a game around with one swing of the bat. It just didn’t happen tonight.”
Chad Shannon hit a solo home run in the second for North’s lone run through the first seven innings. Pudenz drove home the lone South run with an RBI single in the fifth.
“You feel bad for Stuart because he pitched another great game, but that’s baseball,” Baier said. “Someone has to win and someone has to lose. Coach Diekmann has a nice team, a strong team, and they found a way to win tonight.”


At Lee’s Summit North
LS North     010    000    03    —    4    8    0
BS South    000    010    01    —    2    4    0
Jensen, Stone (8), Fuchs (8) and Hill; Pudenz, McMurtrey (8) and Gast. W-Jensen. L-Pudenz. HR: Shannon (4), Cole (4), Phillips (3), LS North.