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Nixa will have a week of practices to prepare for battle at Blue Springs


With MSHSAA opting for teams to have as many as eight days off in between their District and Quarterfinal games, Nixa will have a week’s worth of practices leading up to its trip to Blue Springs on Saturday.

The Eagles (31-6) will carry an eight-game winning streak into their Quarterfinal matchup at Blue Springs (24-14).

It’s an unusual timetable for coach Logan Hughes and his players, what with Nixa often having three or four games a week throughout the spring.

"We're going to have to get creative and get some good practices in,” Hughes said. “I don't know the regulations, but maybe we'll find a game. Maybe we can pick up a game with Catholic. We'll figure it out.”

Nixa and Blue Springs didn't meet in regular-season play. 

Blue Springs upset Columbia Rock Bridge in a Class 6 District 5 semifinal and followed up knocking off Blue Springs South 5-3 in the title tilt.

Outfielder Reese Dirnberger and pitchers Jackson Gamble and Colin Kelley emerged as major contributors during Districts.

Dirnberger was as clutch anyone in Nixa’s lineup against Ozark and Republic.

“Reese has been in some huge spots and I'm extremely proud of him,” Hughes said. “He’s made commitments to be better. He's grown a whole lot as a young man.”

Gamble and Kelley, both sophomores, gained the wins on the mound against Ozark and Republic. Both pitched to contact and were backed up by the Eagles’ defense.

"Our pitching staff has been unbelievable,” Hughes said. “When you pitch really well and play really good defense, you're going to have a chance to win every game.”

Other Class 6 Quarterfinal games include Jackson-Lafayette, DeSmet-Francis Howell and Rockhurst-Liberty North.