FORTVILLE — Following a loss to Pendleton Heights last weekend, Greenfield-Central head coach Robbie Miller noted his desire for a more aggressive approach at the plate from his Cougars.
He got exactly that Friday at Mt. Vernon after leadoff hitter Drey Jameson sent the first pitch of the game at least 370 feet to clear the right-center field fence. However, the Marauders were just as aggressive from the start and used dominating pitching and timely offense to earn two Hoosier Heritage Conference wins.
Mt. Vernon’s Game 1 starting pitcher Kennedy Parker allowed just five hits and struck out six en route to a 9-2 win while Ryan Beck held on in a Game 2 pitchers’ duel, winning 4-1 after allowing just four Greenfield-Central hits.
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“I thought he was laboring but maybe the first pitch of the game made me think he was struggling more than he was,” Marauders head coach Ryan Carr said of Parker. “It (home run) was nuts, I wasn’t even settled in yet. He hung a curveball.
“Not peak, Kennedy is still pretty good, though.”
Beck, Tyler Franklin and Brandon Turner combined for nine hits and 10 RBIs on the night to lead Mt. Vernon.
Mt. Vernon countered Jameson’s solo shot in the bottom of the first inning with three runs off two doubles and a single. Ryan Beck doubled to send Noah Powell to third base and Brandon Turner would follow with an infield RBI single. Tyler Franklin, Mt. Vernon’s No. 6 hitter, then sent a deep line drive to right-center field to score two Marauders for a 3-1 lead.
The next time up, however, is when the Marauders really went to work.
After Mitch McCarthy led off the inning with a walk, Mt. Vernon flipped its order and recorded two hits and an RBI on way to four runs and a 7-1 lead. Turner added a double, which scored two, and Franklin singled to bring in another Marauder for his third RBI of the game, as well.
“We have been battling with Turner to not be more than he is,” Carr said. “He is a big strong guy and has been trying to hit home runs. We challenged him this week and he responded that day. You saw how it was today.”
Turner finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs while Franklin was 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Beck was consistent too and finished 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs.
“I was just seeing the ball really well today,” Franklin said. “Even in batting practice I hit a home run, and it carried over into the game.”
Jameson added an RBI double in the fifth inning, which scored Spencer Hert, to cut into the Marauders (13-6, 7-5 HHC) lead. Jameson finished 2-for-3 and now has four home runs this season.
Tate Hall took the loss for Greenfield-Central (8-13, 3-9 HHC), finishing with four strikeouts and four walks in four innings of work. He added a single offensively in the first inning.
Hert added a single and scored a run to pace the Cougars.
Jameson got the nod on the mound for Greenfield-Central in Game 2 and struck out six batters through the first three innings as both team’s were locked at zero.
Beck was equally impressive, retiring four Cougars with strikeouts through four scoreless innings.
However, Jameson, who is committed Ball State, got in a jam in the fifth frame after three wild pitches to Bryce Robbins, who reached on a walk.
Then, in the same inning, Luke Smoot broke up Jameson’s no-hitter with an infield single to shortstop followed by a sacrifice fly from Powell, which scored Robbins for a 1-0 Mt. Vernon lead.
After Jameson retired the side in the top of the sixth inning for his 13th strikeout, Braxton Turner broke up Beck’s no-hitter with an infield single to third base. Beck struck out Jameson, though, to end the inning.
Beck struck out seven in a complete game effort on the mound, as well, and didn’t allow a run until Hall singled to score Tyler Farrell, who reached on a double, in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Greenfield-Central 2, Mt. Vernon 9
GCHS (8-12, 3-8 HHC);100;010;0; -;2;5;1
MVHS (12-6, 6-5 HHC);340;101;x; -;9;10;1
WP: Kennedy Parker (4-2). LP: Tate Hall (1-6)
2B: Beck, Franklin, Turner (MV). Jameson (GC). HR: Jameson (GC). RBI: Turner 3, Franklin 4, Mason (MV). Jameson (GC). SB: Farrell (GC). Vestal, Franklin, Mason (MV).
GC: Jameson 2-3, home run, double. Hert single, run.
MV: Franklin 2-3 4 RBIs, Turner 3-4 3 RBIs, Beck 2-3 two runs.
Mt. Vernon 4, Greenfield-Central 1
MVHS (13-6, 7-5 HHC);000;010;3; -;4;3;0
GCHS (8-13, 3-9 HHC);000;000;1; -;1;4;1
WP: Ryan Beck (3-2). LP: Drey Jameson (2-4).
2B: Farrell (GC). Beck (MV). RBI: Powell, Beck 3 (MV). Hall (GC). SB: Powell, Mason 2 (MV).
MV: Powell double, 3 RBIs, seven strikeouts. Franklin single.
GC: Hall RBI single, Farrell double, T. Mundell single, Jameson 13k.