DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Reid Werner set the blazing pace.
The Greenwood Community High School junior right-hander struck out the side in the top of the first. Werner struck out 10 in the Woodmen’s 10-0 victory against visiting Indian Creek on Tuesday in the opening round of the Johnson County Tournament. The game was stopped in the bottom of the fifth with one out because of the 10-run rule.
Greenwood (14-11) now will face Center Grove in Saturday’s 10 a.m. semifinal at Center Grove. Greenwood also will play Center Grove in the sectional-opener May 27.
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“They couldn’t seem to catch up with the fastball, so I was burning them inside and outside,” said Werner, who improved to 6-3. “If they kept fouling it off, I hit them with off-speed stuff once in awhile.
“My fastball has been slowing rising and getting better and better throughout the season.”
Woodmen coach Andy Bass said Werner’s fast start set the tone.
“He was really throwing well, which was good to see,” Bass said. “He’s kind of been that way all year.”
The Woodmen were able to give Werner ample support
“We got guys on base and in scoring position, and we got guys in,” Bass said. “Pitching and fielding were key, and hopefully that will carry over until Saturday.
Greenwood scored two in the second inning on two walks, a hit batter and an error. The Woodmen added two more in the third on senior second baseman Brayton Buchanan’s two-run single.
“We were only up by two, so I felt we needed something big,” Buchanan said. “I was trying to find a fastball I could drive, and that’s what I did.”
The Woodmen added three more in the fourth, with the big hit being Jarrett Caster’s two-run single. Another run came home on a balk. In the fifth, Damon Maynard delivered a run-scoring single. T.J. Bass then knocked in one run with a single, and the final run came on a fielding error on his hit.
“Walks killed us,” said Indian Creek coach Adam Blackburn, whose team’s record fell to 8-9. “They didn’t have that many more hits than we did, but the score is 10-0.
“They got hits when they got their guys on base, and we couldn’t string enough together to get any on the board.”
Offensively, Blackburn said with the Braves’ schedule they don’t always face a pitcher throwing as hard as Werner was.
“When you get a difference in that speed it throws you off for a couple of innings,” Blackburn said. “We didn’t start hitting the ball collectively until the fourth or fifth. We were letting a lot of fastballs go by we shouldn’t have.”
For the Woodmen, the season has had many positives, Buchanan said.
“We’ve made a big jump since last year,” Buchanan said. “Our record is a lot better. Having some of the young guys has helped a lot. Everyone is stepping up and making plays.”