Whiteland was efficient at the plate and controlling on the mound Tuesday as the Warriors opened play in the Johnson County Baseball Tournament played at Center Grove with a 21-0 shutout of Edinburgh in five innings.
Senior center fielder Jared Adkins led off the bottom of the first inning with a sharp single to left field. He stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on another wild pitch to put the Warriors on the scoreboard.
It would be the first of four first-inning runs for Whiteland.
After going down 1-2-3 in the second, the Warriors busted the game open with a 10-run third inning. Fifteen Whiteland batters stepped to the plate in the frame. The Warriors got only five hits but were helped by three walks, two hit batters and four Edinburgh errors.
Whiteland starter Codey Stewart never let the Lancers get into the contest. The senior right-hander allowed just four base runners in four innings of work, striking out six while walking one.
Warriors coach Scott Sherry said that was the performance they have been looking for from Stewart.
“Codey stepped up and he put the ball over the plate,” Sherry said. “He didn’t walk many guys and
just challenged hitters. It’s what we’ve been trying to get him to do all year.”
Adkins led the Whiteland effort at the plate, going 3 for 5 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs. Stewart helped himself, going 2 for 2 with three runs scored and an RBI. Branton Sanders went 2 for 2 with four runs scored and three RBIs.
Every Warriors starter got on base at least one time.
For Edinburgh, it was another learning experience for a roster that does not have a single senior. Coach Cole Zook was encouraged by the Lancers’ approach at
“We’ve been struggling with the bat lately. In the first couple of innings, we came out hacking, attacking the fastball. We put the ball in play and put a lot of pressure on (Whiteland),”
“To come out and put the ball in play against a bigger school like that is something positive to bring into the next conference game on Thursday.”
Starting pitcher Kinser Bryant, a sophomore, got two of the Lancers’ three hits, going 2 for 3. Freshman Kyle Armel reached base twice on walks.
Whiteland moves on to Saturday’s 10 a.m. semifinal contest against defending county champion and second-seeded Franklin.
Sherry said motivation will not be a problem.
“Like we say all year, if you can’t get excited to play Franklin, a county rival, a conference opponent, a sectional opponent, then there’s something wrong with you,” he said. “We’ll come with our best, hopefully, and I expect a good game.”