Cale Benson called his shot and he has witnesses.

Cale Benson called his shot and he has witnesses.

Prior to his at-bat in the fifth inning of Blue Springs Post 499/Junior Fike’s game against Maryland Heights Post 213 in Friday’s Junior American Legion State Tournament at Hidden Valley Park, Fike coach John Kirwin pointed out how deep Maryland Heights center fielder Robert Zimmerman was positioned. Kirwin told Benson to make him pay with a shot to the warning track.

Benson shot back that if he did that, he planned on clearing the bases.

“I said if I burn him, I’m going to get an in-the-parker,” Benson said. “He goes, ‘I don’t know, that kid’s pretty fast. You might get a triple.’ And then it happened.”

Benson cranked a shot to deep center that plated Nic Mertes and Cameron Miller. As he sprinted toward third he initially caught a stop sign from third-base coach Dave Benson, but the cut-off man bobbled the throw allowing Cale Benson to dart home.

That put Fike up 9-0 and broke the game wide open. Braden Younkin followed with a triple and scored on Reece Eddins single as Fike rolled to a 10-0 victory. Benson finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs.

Benson’s shot was an anomaly in a contest in which his team relied on working pitch counts and playing small ball with bunts and hit-and-runs. But from the second the ball left his bat, that’s all he was thinking about.

His prediction was full of confidence – maybe even a little cocky – and ultimately prophetic.

“I had it in my head,” he said. “I knew I burnt him. It was kind of like a challenge. I’m going. I was like, ‘OK, here we go.’

“If I got the stop sign, I was ready to stop and I just had to kick it into that extra gear and take it all the way home.”

Now, Fike sits just one win away from a state title. They’ll play the Maryland Heights-West Plains winner at 4 p.m. Saturday.

“I feel like we’re all focused,” Cale Benson said. “We know what we’re playing for right here. We know we’ve got a big trip ahead of us if we get this next game so everybody’s really going to give it their all.”