Indian Creek made certain even the slightest traces of doubt never factored into its first baseball sectional championship in 43 years.
A 10-run second inning powered the Braves to a 13-1 win Monday night against Greencastle in the championship game of the Class 3A Danville Sectional.
Despite it being only a five-inning game due to the 10-run rule, Indian Creek (17-2) collected 14 base hits. Junior pitching ace Eric Braughton allowed two Cubs’ hits while striking out 11.
The anticlimactic nature of Monday’s final didn’t stop Braves players from making a celebratory pile of humanity between the pitcher’s mound and second base after the final out was recorded.
“You know, it really hasn’t sunk in yet,” said first-year IC coach Eddie Willis, whose ballclub joins the 1971 and 1973 Indian Creek teams as the program’s sectional champs. “It’s still just fresh, and I haven’t had a chance to process it yet.”
Indian Creek now prepares for Saturday’s Crawfordsville Regional. The Braves play at 1 p.m. in the second semifinal against Frankfort, champion of the North Montgomery Sectional.
The Braves left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first frame, but made sure not to miss opportunities in the second. Indian Creek blew the game open by sending 15 batters to the plate and producing 10 base hits.
In all, six batters hit twice in the same inning, including second baseman Jared DeHart and third baseman Max Walls.
Both had two hits in the second, including DeHart’s single that got the avalanche of runs started.
Six Indian Creek players finished the game with two base hits – leadoff hitter Sam Willis, Walls, DeHart, Dylan Sprong, Nolan Remsburg and Braughton.
Remsburg came through with a double and triple. The Braves overall finished with four extra-base hits.
For seniors Jarrett Rozzi, Tyler Parks, Willis and Zack Winsby, being part of postseason dryspell that began before much of their team’s fan base was even born are moments they’ll never forget.
“It feels pretty good,” said Rozzi, the starting catcher. “Baseball is not super popular around our school, but maybe this will turn things around. It feels cool to be part of something special like that. We’re all good friends. Nobody fights, so that helps us keep our tempo.”
Freshman Trevor Ankney pitched a complete game in Indian Creek’s 4-2 morning semifinal victory against host Danville.
Ankney permitted the Warriors only three base hits on his way to striking out 12.
First baseman Parks and sophomore shortstop Dawson Read each collected two hits in the win. The team’s lone extra-base hit was off the bat of sophomore outfielder Sprong.
“On any day, I think we could go pretty far. Realistically, I just don’t know. We are up and down,” coach Willis said. “It’s our hitting that’s spotty. But we had 14 hits tonight, so …”
In its three sectional wins at Danville, Indian Creek permitted a total of five base hits – none by Indianapolis Northwest, three by Danville and two by Greencastle.