Rare is the occasion a pitcher is both off and on in the same game, but Franklin junior Jackson Henry found a way.
The right-hander was off-speed and on target, helping the Grizzly Cubs to a 7-1 victory over visiting Greenwood in a Mid-State Conference contest Tuesday at Mercer Field.
Henry pitched the first five innings, allowing one hit and striking out six. Junior lefty Noah DeArmitt worked the final two frames, giving up a hit, walking two and fanning three.
“My best pitch is probably just off-speed, getting players off their feet,” Henry said. “I’m not a strikeout guy, but more of a ground ball guy. I’ve just got to throw strikes at all times and hit your spots.”
The win improved Franklin’s record to 14-6 overall and allowed it to remain in second place in the league standings at 8-3. Greenwood, which hosts the Cubs later today, dropped to 5-10 and 2-8. Franklin’s busy week then continues Friday, when the Cubs play at Center Grove to decide the Johnson County tournament champion.
Freshman leadoff hitter Landen Basey supplied Franklin three singles; junior Max Clark singled, doubled and drove in three runs.
Greenwood produced its lone run in the top of the first when sophomore Landen Smith was hit by a pitch with two out. Smith stole second and touched home plate after the Grizzly Cubs committed a throwing error attempting to throw Josh Miller out at first base.
Franklin responded with two runs in the bottom half.
Basey blooped the first pitch into right field for a single off Woodmen senior Conner Stidham. Clark walked, and both runners advanced on a fielder’s choice. Basey scored on a passed ball and Clark then slid home hands first after Nolan Netter’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Franklin added four runs in the second, a surge that started with Pryce Rucker’s double to right. Drew Doty then walked and Xavier Brown put down a bunt to load the bases. Basey singled to center to drive in a run, and Clark sliced an opposite-field double to left field to bring in two more. A Woodmen throwing error made it a 6-1 game.
The home team’s final run came in the fourth, with Basey scoring on a Clark single to left field.
Greenwood’s two base hits were provided by sophomore outfielder Alex Honeycutt and senior Justin Donenfeld.
Grizzly Cubs coach Ryan Feyerabend was pleased with Henry’s time on the hill.
“He’s been really consistent for us. Jackson works fast, and really throws a lot of strikes and the defense plays well behind him,” Feyerabend said. “We were trying to limit guys tonight because we’ve got a pretty big week, and the more arms we have available will be helpful.
“We’ve been putting a lot of young guys in a lot of different spots, and to be able to continue to get some wins has been good. Everyone has stepped in and done a really good job.”