GREENWOOD — With a dominating performance, Silver Creek cruised into today’s state semifinals.
Eight players had hits, nine scored runs and five had RBIs while a trio of pitchers held Chet Waggoner to four hits in Silver Creek’s 11-0, four-inning win Friday in its final game of state tourney pool play at Greenwood Little League.
“Everything kind of came together, everybody contributed,” Silver Creek coach Damon Lewis said. “Going into this game, knowing it was an elimination game, for them to come out the way they did, with as much confidence as they did, was huge. … I couldn’t be more proud of them."
The victory clinched second place in Pool B, as well as a spot in the state final four, for Silver Creek, which will face Forest Park at 10 a.m. Saturday morning in the semifinals. If Creek wins, it will play in the state championship game at 1 p.m.
“We’re excited,” Lewis said. “To make it to a final four in any sport, it’s just awesome because the spotlight is on you. … Getting to this point is huge, but we’re not done. We’re set up really well [for today]. We’ve got all but one of our pitchers [available].”
Three Silver Creek pitchers — Ross Jackson, Cullen Garloch and Spencer Durham — held Chet Waggoner to four singles.
Jackson started the game and gave up two hits while striking out one in the first inning.
“We wanted to get him a little bit of work without going over 20 pitches,” Lewis said. “Ross is a really good pitcher. He had a hiccup the other day [giving up a game-winning home run] against Brownsburg. I wanted to get him back on the mound as soon as possible to get his confidence up, because he’s such a good player for us.”
Garloch came on after that, yielding two hits while walking two and striking out three in 2 1/3 innings to pick up the victory on the mound.
“He just carried us,” Lewis said.
Durham came on in the fourth to get the final two outs of the game.
That trio had plenty of help at the plate.
Preston Burton once again led the offense, hitting his second home run in as many days, following up Thursday’s grand slam with a three-run homer Friday.
“He’s been hot,” Lewis said of Burton, who finished 2-for-2 with three RBIs and three runs scored. “Yesterday he hit a line drive over the fence. Today's was a no-doubter.”
Silver Creek got off to a good start offensively, plating two runs in the top of the first inning to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
“That was huge,” Lewis said. “I think our pitchers relax a little bit more when they’ve got some runs behind them. That was big, to come out and get a couple runs early on and give Ross a little padding.”
Burton clouted his three-run homer in the second to make it 5-0. Silver Creek put Chet Waggoner away with a six-run fourth.
Also for Creek at the plate, Carter Odaffer went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs while Durham added a pair of RBIs.
“We’re just playing with so much confidence right now,” Lewis said. “I’m really impressed with the resilience, especially after losing to Brownsburg like we did.”
Lewis said he’ll start Burton, the team’s ace, in Saturday morning’s semifinal.
“He’s got 85 pitches to burn,” Lewis said. “We’ll ride him out and hopefully our bats can get him a few runs. I think two or three runs would be good for him.”