GREENFIELD — It was whoever blinked first. And Greenfield-Central blinked.
After 11 innings of no runs and a few hits scattered throughout, Mount Vernon collected three hits, a sac fly and two runs to secure a 2-0 win in the first game of the Hoosier Heritage Conference and Hancock County double header Friday.
Greenfield-Central went on to win 16-0 by run rule in six innings.
This was the Marauders’ first conference win since their win against Shelbyville a month ago.
“The energy at practice for a 6-13 team, we look like a 13-6 team,” Mount Vernon head coach Ryan Carr said. “I think it was obvious out there.”
The scoreless stalemate held until the top of the 11th when Jaden Cappalletti set the wheels in motion with his third hit of the game. This brought Jared Shelton up with one on, one out and a conference game on the line.
“With the way that Cap and Shelton have been hitting the ball, it makes sense it happened there,” Carr said.
On the second pitch, Shelton found the sweet spot and sent it to deep center. He set up two runners in scoring position with one out still. Dino Tharp and Braydon Augustinovicz were the next two up. Both didn’t bat an eye. Tharp dropped one in near the right field line to score Cappalletti and Augustinovicz sent one to far right field for a sacrifice fly.
“I didn’t have to tell them anything, they just competed,” Carr said. “I think they showed an incredible amount of guts and fight and wanting to be here.”
Greenfield-Central coach said they got outhit.
“They just hit the ball when they needed to hit the ball,” Robbie Miller said. “I don’t necessarily think we made bad pitches, they did what they had to do to get the run across.”
Greenfield-Central had three more outs but third baseman Luke Smoot ended their rally in a pinch. Drey Jameson – who had two hits and got on base four times – punched a single through to attempt a rally.
Smoot had different ideas. His glove found Tyler Farrell’s bullet to down the line – and he tossed it to first to get the double play.
Caleb Rush got the win in relief for Mount Vernon with three strikeouts, allowing no hits. Ryan Beck pitched 8.0 innings with 11 Ks and four hits.
“Beck came out and threw the best game he has thrown all year,” Carr said. “He was very crisp.”
He added that Rush came through big. “To come out and do what here did there was unbelievable and I’m very proud of the outing he had,” he said.
Jameson was the other side of the defensive battle for Greenfield-Central. He notched 12 Ks and no walks. The Cougar offense found hits but couldn’t string any together. They had four in the first four innings, leaving one on base each time.
“They just need to relax and not try to do to much,” Miller said. “We just try to do too much when we were batting and evidently it wasn’t working because we didn’t get the runs we needed to.”
After the fourth inning, Beck and Rush didn’t allow any hits and the only base runners were off of errors or walks.
“It sucks, you got beat but you got to get over it,” Miller said. “We just have to put the ball in play, if we put the ball in play, good things happen.”
And good things did happen for the Cougars in the second game of the conference doubleheader.
They got three hits and three runs in the first inning and held the lead up to press time. Braxton Turner and Jameson both knocked one out of the park. At press time, the team totaled 13 hits in the top of the sixth with bases loaded.
Jameson was 3-for-4 in the game, Farrell had two hits and Kyle Kirkpatrick had two hits.
Spencer Hert held the Marauder offense to four hits (Cappalletti and Shelton stringing two hits together again), totaling eight strikeouts.
Mt. Vernon 2, Greenfield-Central 0
WP: Caleb Rush (MV). LP: Adam Hutchison (GC).
2B: Shelton (MV), Jameson (GC), Farrell (GC), Davis (GC)
Notables: Beck (MV) 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K; Jameson (GC) 7 IP, 4 H, 12 K; Cappalletti (MC) 3-5