DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Patience is a virtue for the Franklin Community High School baseball team.
On Tuesday, it was the key to victory.
The host Grizzly Cubs waited out six walks to key a 10-run second inning on the way to a five-inning, 11-1 win against Edinburgh in the opening round of the Johnson County Baseball Tournament.
Franklin will play Whiteland on Saturday in the semifinals.
Batting in the bottom of the second with the game scoreless, Franklin’s Jerris Lee draw a walk from Edinburgh pitcher Zach Murphy to lead off the inning. After another walk and a Stone Peddycord sacrifice bunt, three more batters drew walks, followed by a hit batter and the sixth walk of the inning to make the score 4-0.
A wild pitch plated the fifth run, and another hit batter loaded the bases again.
Jerris Lee then delivered a two-run double, and Zach Lee followed with another two-run double to blow the game open. Alec MacLennan closed out the scoring for the inning with an RBI single and a 10-0 Franklin lead.
After Edinburgh scored in the fourth inning on an RBI hit by Keegan Sida, Jerris Lee singled and scored on an error in the bottom of the inning to restore the 10-run margin. Austin Frankl retired the Lancers in the fifth inning in support of four strong innings from Franklin starter Andrew Hartkorn.
Franklin coach Ryan Feyerbend applauded his team’s discipline at the plate.
“In the first inning their pitcher was in the zone, but in the second he was struggling a little bit,” Feyerbend said. “After we got a few guys on and when he did get a ball around the plate, we were able to take pretty good swings.”
Starting pitcher Andrew Hartkorn had a solid outing for the Cubs, striking out five Edinburgh hitters and walking none while giving up just the one run.
Feyerbend credited Hartkorn for his good control and said the junior is starting to come into his own as a pitcher.
“He’s been getting better each time out. This is the third start in a row he’s been really good for us,” he said. “He really got after it and had good command of the strike zone.”
Although the Cubs (6-16) haven’t won as many games as they would have liked, Feyerbend sees his youthful squad — which had only two seniors in Tuesday’s lineup — as gaining valuable experience against tough area competition.
“We’ve been getting down early, and we hadn’t had the lead a lot, so it makes it harder to be selective at the plate,” Feyerbend said. “We have quality competition around here. There are no easy games, and if you are playing from behind it makes it that much harder.
“But it was good to have that patience and some key hits today.”