GREENFIELD — Coming off a sophomore season for the Cathedral High School junior varsity team, Brendon Neal was expected to contribute to the Greenfield-Central baseball program this spring after transferring from the private Indianapolis school — maybe as a mid-week starting pitcher, or sometimes as a closer behind returning aces Curtiss Irving and Clark Pence.
Halfway through the 2012 season and Neal is not merely contributing, he’s turned into a season-saving force.
With Irving’s right elbow ailing, Neal has been slotted into the Cougars’ prime-time, Hoosier Heritage Conference starting rotation. And the junior came through in the Cougars’ latest battle, holding Shelbyville to one earned run in a 7-1 G-C victory Friday to complete a doubleheader sweep. Pence went the distance in the opener, a 3-2 Cougars win.
“He’s been huge,” Greenfield-Central coach Travis Keesling said of the left-hander. “With Curtiss not being able to pitch, he’s really filled in that role on a Friday night for us. He’s been a huge addition and we’ve liked the way he’s come out and pitched. And he gets stronger as the game goes on.”