Getting the win was sweet, but Franklin senior pitcher Jackson Klem also got a nice bonus, hitting his first career home run in a 14-4 victory over visiting Greenwood Tuesday in the first round of the Johnson County tournament.
Franklin (2-2) will play Whiteland in a Saturday semifinal at Center Grove.
“I’m just as surprised as everybody else,” Klem said of the homer. "The wind helped a little."
Klem, who was batting ninth, gave the Grizzly Cubs a 13-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Leadoff batter Jace Fowler, who had three hits, followed with a homer to make it 14-1.
“We got a great start out of Jackson Klem,” Franklin coach Ryan Feyerabend said. “He’s not overpowering but he mixes it. We generally play good defense behind Klem.”
That was the case again.
“I feel like I pitched pretty well but my fielders helped me out a lot,” Klem said. “I just tried to put it across the plate and let my fielders do the work.”
Feyerabend said he liked his team’s approach after a long weekend, losing to Center Grove and Mt. Vernon and beating Fishers in a tournament at Noblesville.
“Our bats did much better pretty much 1 through 9,” Feyerabend said. “We had some good swings on good pitches.”
Franklin scored three in the first on two hits and two errors. Brodie Rinehold had a run-scoring double. The Grizzly Cubs then blew it open with eight runs on six hits in the second inning. Logen Devenport had a three-run double. Rinehold also had an RBI single.
Greenwood’s Matthew Jobe, who started on the mound, had a 3-run double in the fifth to make it 14-4. Charlie Brooks had three hits and an RBI for the Woodmen (0-2).
Defense was the big problem for Greenwood.
“You can’t drop fly balls and we did that many times,” Greenwood coach Andy Bass said. “You can’t give a good team extra outs; when you do that you are going to get punished usually. They swing the bat really well, so when you get an out you have to capitalize on it.”
Bass said he thought Jobe did a nice job in the beginning.
“The first two balls are in play and we don’t catch,” he said. "If we catch those, who knows how the tone of the game changes."
Bass said Ryan Tuttle pitched well in relief after coming on late in Franklin’s eight-run inning.
"We kept swinging the bats,” Bass said. “Jobe hd that big hit in the last inning. There’s fight there. We’re not just rolling and giving up. But we had six errors. With a team like Franklin, you can’t give them six extra outs; it’s going to hurt you.
"It’s early, we’ll regroup. We know what we need to practice on and we’ll gave after in practice and see if we can fix it."