On Monday, the Indian Creek baseball team stormed back from an early six-run deficit to defeat Monrovia. Down seven against Franklin on Tuesday, the Braves couldn’t muster another miracle comeback.
The Grizzly Cubs took control with a four-run third inning and held off a late Indian Creek surge for an 8-4 victory in the first round of the Johnson County Baseball Tournament.
“You can’t spot them six or seven runs and expect to come back with no hits,” Indian Creek coach Eddie Willis said.
Franklin (1-2) scrapped its way to a run in the second inning. Dane Johnston reached on a two-out error and took second on a Blake Dicken single before getting forced in by walks to Kyle Davis and Isaac McCullough. The Grizzly Cubs then built on that momentum in the third.
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Stone Peddycord and Luke Miles reached on walks to start the frame, and Jacob Heuchan followed with an RBI double before a wild pitch plated Miles to make it 3-0. Jared DeHart came on in relief of starter Trevor Ankney and helped the Braves avoid much greater damage, but not before Heuchan and Alec MacLennan scored on successive RBI groundouts to stretch Franklin’s lead to five.
In the top of fifth, the Grizzly Cubs loaded the bases with two out and picked up another pair of runs on a base hit up the middle by McCullough.
Indian Creek (1-1) finally got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Dawson Read drew a leadoff walk, took second on a balk, went to third on a passed ball and scored on an errant pickoff throw. Dylan Sprong led off the Braves’ sixth with a single, his team’s first hit of the day, and after Indian Creek loaded the bases DeHart drove a double to center to plate two runs. Cody Grider then scored on a wild pitch to cut the Franklin lead to 7-4.
At that point, Willis still expected the Braves to come back.
“I think we’re that good,” he said. “We’ve got some good kids; we’ve got some good talent.”
MacLennan, though, led off the seventh with a home run for the Grizzly Cubs to add an insurance run, and reliever Luke Miles prevented an Indian Creek rally in the seventh.
Lefty Michael Couet got the win for Franklin, firing four-plus innings of no-hit ball. The junior struck out five and worked around seven walks.
Couet’s effort was “exactly what we needed,” Franklin coach Ryan Feyerabend said.