Dell Henk came to play Monday, helping lead Greenwood’s baseball team to a 12-3 win over Warren Central in the opening round of the District 14 Tournament at Warren East High School’s Raider Ballpark.
The freshman went 3-for-5 with three RBI at the plate in his first postseason game ever with the fourth-seeded Gators and also had two strikeouts in 1.67 innings thrown.
Along with Henk, Titus Thornhill, Adam Schneller and Addison Harris each registered two hits apiece while Mac Ausbrooks had a pair of RBI in Greenwood’s season-extending victory.
“We can hit pretty good all throughout the lineup,” said Henk.
Tyler Cook started on the mound for the Gators (16-18, 5-7) and threw four complete innings, allowing three runs and two hits with four Ks to earn the win.
Warren Central jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a steal home and a two-run homerun, but Greenwood battled back and scored three runs of its own in the bottom half.
“The thing I was most impressed with was the way we responded after getting down 3-0,” GHS head coach Jason Jaggers stated. “They got that two-run homerun and we were able to respond there in the bottom half of the inning.”
Noah Thornberry, who played his last game as a Dragon on Monday and put a close on a remarkable high school career, leadoff with a double and eventually stole home to give Central its first run. Soon after the run crossed, Jordan Lindsey’s two-out shot to left field increased the Dragons’ lead to 3-0 after a half inning.
Greenwood’s three-run frame had it right back in it. Henk and Thornhill each singled and an error put Jack Blair on and plated the leadoff batter. Following the score, John Hicks tallied an RBI single and was later walked in to even the scoreboard.
The Gators used costly Central (2-27, 0-12) miscues in the bottom of the third to take total control.
The first two GWood batters were walked and an error scored one before a wild pitch plated the other. Another error and wild pitch later plated another pair of Gators before Thornhill’s RBI single made it 8-3.
“Just that it’s a long game,” Jaggers responded when asked what he may have told his players that sparked their run. “They responded – and they know that. We’ve played a long season and we rebounded.”
Warren Central had three different players reach in the fourth and fifth, but none could get home. Meanwhile, Greenwood plated three in the bottom half of the fifth and one in the sixth to seal the deal.
Henk and Blair both tallied RBI singles while Blair then scored on a wild pitch to make it 11-3. Henk went on to tally his third RBI on another single to increase his team’s advantage to nine.
Greenwood now meets top-seeded Bowling Green Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the semifinal round. No. 2 South Warren vs. No. 3 Warren East follows at 7:30 p.m.
“Just show up to play every day, I guess,” Henk said of how he and the Gators will approach their meeting with the Purples. “New game, new day. We know who their hitters are and we’ve seen their pitchers.”