Southsider Voice correspondent
Franklin Central’s baseball team had several reasons for wanting to win Friday at Victory Field.
As the Flashes took the field against Plainfield for the first game of the Victory Field Classic, they wanted to atone for not playing there last year in the Marion County championship game, which was rained out and not played on the Indianapolis Indians’ home field.
“We didn’t get to play here last year, and we were pumped then,” senior pitcher Jake Sprinkle said. “We finally get to play on the same field as the Indians. I’ve been here to see lots of games but to actually be on the field is really something to remember.”
The Flashes – behind senior Ben Sprinkle going 4-for-4 and driving in two runs and senior J. Sprinkle pitching a complete game – won 3-1 in an excellently played nonconference game, which featured solid hitting and quick fielding.
B. Sprinkle had three singles and one double at spacious Victory Field. “I just like the big stage,” he said modestly. “This was a hyped-up game, and I was really excited. I got the pitches I wanted, so I was able to drive the ball. I was just trying to move runners.” Sprinkle then professed that he and the Flashes want to return to the ballpark later this season for the county tourney and 4A state championship games.
With 13 seniors, the Flashes could make even more noise as the season progresses.
The Flashes (12-2) collected nine hits off three different Plainfield pitchers. FC pushed across solo runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
B. Sprinkle drove in Cory Durm from second on a one-out double to center field in the third inning and then drove him in again from third on a slow infield grounder in the fifth. In the sixth, first baseman Ryne Carnes (hitting .471) led off with a booming triple to right-center field and scored on J. Sprinkle’s fly ball to center.
Jon Knies and pinch-hitter Aaron Snyder (.416) also had hits for the Flashes, who are batting .346 as a team.
The Quakers (11-6) had a runner on second with two outs in the seventh but a grounder to second ended the game.
“This was a fun game for us,” FC coach John Rockey said. “We weren’t hitting the ball on the nose, and when we did we hit it right at them in the early innings.”
J. Sprinkle (3-0, 1.14 ERA) struck out three but didn’t allow a runner beyond second base except for the fourth inning.
“When Jake Sprinkle pitches, the game doesn’t last very long,” Rockey said. “Every night we can come out and put a pitcher on the mound who can come through for us. We have a deep pitching staff.”
Six different pitchers have started games for the Flashes this season. They have a combined 1.96 ERA.
Jimmy Yates, the recipient of an Indiana National Guard All-American Scholar Award at the classic, which was presented by the Indiana National Guard, is the Flashes’ leading hitter with a .514 average; he has 19 hits, 14 RBIs and three home runs.