It wasn’t an emphatic hit, but after all the trouble the Blue Springs baseball team had making contact earlier in the game against Lee’s Summit starter Jordan Knutson, Jordan Bardwell’s two-run single in the fifth inning was a most welcome sight.

It wasn’t an emphatic hit, but after all the trouble the Blue Springs baseball team had making contact earlier in the game against Lee’s Summit starter Jordan Knutson, Jordan Bardwell’s two-run single in the fifth inning was a most welcome sight.

Facing side-arm reliever Jake Kern with the bases loaded and one out, Bardwell fisted a blooper into shallow center field to break a 3-3 tie, and the host Wildcats went on to even their overall and Suburban Big Six records through two games with a 9-3 victory Friday at Blue Springs.

“It was great to finally get a key hit,” Blue Springs coach Marc Hines said. “In two games we had trouble getting the key hit, and tonight we did.

“That’s the key: Just putting the ball in play, especially putting it in the play on the ground, and your chances go up. That kid (Knutson) made some good pitches to keep them in it.”

The southpaw Knutson struck out 11 through 4 1/3 innings by effectively mixing in a biting curveball, but he was by betrayed by four errors, two of them errant catcher’s throws to first that negated a strikeout. Three errors came in the first inning, combining with Brian Burasco’s double to score two runs.

Knutson exited after issuing back-to-back walks. Corbin Hare then drew a walk off Kern before Blackwell’s clutch hit.

“I thought (the pitch) was inside, and it ended up being high,” Bardwell said. “I just tried to stay in there.”

Three batters after Bardwell, Wylson Lamb lashed another two-run single off Tanner Swisher to make it 7-3. In the sixth, James McKinley and Hare slugged home runs off Swisher.

Bardwell was responsible for Blue Springs’ third run, as he led off the second with a walk, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch.

“It’s just whenever I feel comfortable,” Bardwell said of having discretion to steal.

Blue Springs starter Alex Duvall struck out four in three hitless innings before leaving due to was Hines said was an arm cramp.

Against lefty reliever Bill Slivinski, Lee’s Summit (1-2, 0-1) got a run in the fourth on Travis Simonin’s bunt hit combined with a wild error. In the fifth, five straight Tigers reached base with two outs, as Justin Givens (double) and Simonin slapped run-scoring hits.

Kyle Reed went 1 1/3 innings in relief of Slivinski to get the win on the mound, and Taylor Cross struck out two in the seventh.

“That’s the role we’re asking him to do, and in two games he’s done that,” Hines said of Slivinski. “He’s bridged the gap. Kyle threw well, and hopefully we’ll get to use Tyler in the seventh like that a lot.”