Center Grove baseball routs Whiteland

<p>With a big lead, Center Grove sophomore pitcher Caden Cornett didn’t have much pressure on him.</p><p>Well, at least not until the last batter. With two outs in bottom of the fifth Monday, Cornett gave up his first hit of the game to Elijah Hawkins in the Class 4A No. 5 Trojans’ 19-0 romp over host Whiteland.</p><p>“I was very confident after that big lead; that’s what we do,” Cornett said. “The no-hitter was a goal, but that’s fine. I got the shutout. It was a great team win. The bats came out today and I came out and threw strikes.&quot;</p><p>The Trojans (12-1) scored seven runs in the first inning and eight runs in the second.</p><p>“When (Cornett) has to throw strikes, he usually does,” Center Grove coach Keith Hatfield said. “It’s his second one-hitter in a row.”</p><p>Cornett, who struck out nine and allowed four walks, said his fastball and changeup were working for the best for him.</p><p>“The first two innings we were taking good swings,” Hatfield said. “Their kid (pitcher Dylan Gross) was around the zone. We knew early he was going to throw a lot of strikes. Our kids went up to the plate ready to go. The first warm night in a while and the wind blowing out, it was an easy night to hit.”</p><p>Trojans junior third baseman Owen Guilfoy hit his first homer of his varsity career.</p><p>“He’s more of a line-drive hitter and that ball didn’t get very high,” Hatfield said. “He’s more of a gap hitter.&quot;</p><p>Guilfoy’s two-run homer was part of the seven-run first inning.</p><p>“It felt good to get one finally,” Guilfoy said. “You always want to come out and put runs on the board so Caden and all the pitchers feel confident. To know we have a defense behind them with runs to support is always good. Everybody has been hitting well; let’s hope it keeps on happening.”</p><p>Junior first baseman Caden Curry hit his second home run of the season, a three-run shot in the second inning. Juniors Mitchell Evans, Sam Griffith, Matthew Sauter each had two hits, including a double, and two runs batted in. Sophomore Drew Culbertson also contributed two hits and two RBIs.</p><p>“We’ve been pretty good defensively lately, it’s been fun to watch,” Hatfield said. “We’re missing (shortstop) Tyler Cerny, can’t wait to get him back and healthy. Even without him, we’ve had a pretty good defense. He played the first three games and then has been out with some kind of virus. It’s not COVID. When we get him back, it will be a difference.&quot;</p><p>Whiteland’s record dropped to 4-7.</p><p>Sophomore Peyton Emberton, Whiteland’s third pitcher, had the most success against the Trojans, who had just four runs in the final three innings.</p><p>“Peyton did a great job coming in that situation and getting us outs,” Whiteland coach Scott Sherry said. “They hit the ball from top to bottom. They’re a tough opponent, and we’ve got a lot of work to do.&quot;</p>