Indian Creek’s baseball team has been red hot lately, scoring runs in bunches and getting terrific starting pitching.
The Braves continued their hot streak Tuesday, defeating Edinburgh 15-0 in five innings in the opening round of the Johnson County Tournament at Center Grove.
It was Indian Creek’s seventh win in its past eight games and ninth time this season the Braves have scored 10 or more runs.
The Braves advance to face Franklin in a semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday at Center Grove.
The Braves (12-8) used small ball to score their first four runs. They plated two in the first inning on a walk and two singles. In the second inning, they turned a dropped third strike, two bunts and two Edinburgh errors into two more runs.
Indian Creek broke the game open in the third inning, scoring 11 runs on nine hits. Fourteen Braves went to the plate in the frame, with freshman Tyler Parks providing the big blow on a three-run homer over the left-field fence.
That was more than enough for starting pitcher Brenden Smith, who was unhittable in his three innings. Only one Lancers player reached base against Smith, and that came on a game-opening error. The junior pounded the strike zone on his way to five strikeouts in his brief stint on the mound.
With the game out of reach, Dyson Heminger relieved Smith and held Edinburgh (6-6) without a hit until Blake Fisher lined a double off the left-field fence with two outs in the fifth inning.
Smith helped himself at the plate, as well. He went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Parks drove in four runs while going 3 for 3. Sophomore Chad Rairdon also knocked in three runs on a single and sacrifice fly.
It was a sharp contrast to the previous time the teams played. Indian Creek hung on for a wild 16-15 win April 9. Edinburgh coach Cole Zook said the difference was due to Indian Creek’s improvement over the past month.
“Indian Creek is red hot right now,” Zook said. “They’ve been tearing the cover off the ball, and we caught them at the wrong time.”
First-year Indian Creek coach Adam Blackburn said the Braves were playing well in all aspects of the game.
“Our past seven or eight games we’ve really come on with the bats,” Blackburn said. “The pitching has come around, and the defense has come around, too. We had trouble putting all that together at the same time (early in the season).
“It’s a good time to get hot with sectionals coming around next week.”
After some early season struggles, Blackburn said he is confident the Braves can play with anyone remaining on their schedule.
“If we come out swinging the bats the way we’ve been swinging them, we’re going to put some runs up on the board and it’s going to be a ballgame,” he said.