South Vermillion seems to have found the combination for winning high school baseball games. Jordan Branz pitches a complete game, shuts down the opponent, and the Wildcats blast out double-digit hits.
It worked for the second time in as many starts Friday night as the Wildcats overpowered host South Putnam 11-4 in the nonconference game.
South Vermillion scored six runs in the seventh inning to break open what had been a close game. South Putnam led 2-0 after two innings and the score was tied 2-2 after three.
“It was a tight game. South Putnam has got a good team and that’s the one you got to stay with to win and they did,” South Vermillion coach Tim Terry said.
Branz (2-0) gave up just five hits, two in the seventh inning with the Wildcats up 11-2. The righthander led the South Vermillion defense to the work as he struck out only six, but walked only one batter while pitching his second complete game.
South Vermillion turned a double play in the second inning, then Branz retired 14 batters in a row until South Putnam’s Wyatt Nees rapped a one-out in the seventh.
“[Branz] threw 78 [pitches] in five innings on Monday night [against North Vermillion] and I was looking at about the same range [tonight] and I was looking [at his count] in the fifth inning, but he was still below  in the sixth. It was 80-something for the complete game. To complete a game is something in this day and age and I was glad to see that,” Terry said.
South Vermillion (2-0) backed Branz with 11 hits, including four home runs and two doubles.
Seth Dickey hit a solo home run and double and Branz, Kaden Lawson and Brody Jacobs each belted home runs. Dickey, Branz, Jacobs, Kam Weyrauch and Cole Morgan each had two hits.
Hitting in the nine hole, Morgan had a double, single and scored three runs for the Wildcats.
“[South Vermillion] hit the ball well one through nine. I haven’t looked at all the stats, but I know the bottom of their lineup was putting the ball in play consistently,” South Putnam coach Zack Love said.
South Putnam was led by Wyatt Nees with a single and double and Justin Bumgardner hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning.
The loss dropped South Putnam to 0-3 going into today’s home game with North Central.
South Vermillion 002 012 6 — 11 11 1
South Putnam 200 000 2 — 4 5 2
Branz and Lawson; Briones, Nees (4), Scott (6), McHugh (7) and Long. WP – Branz (2-0). LP – Scott. LOB – SV 8, SP 1. HR – Branz, Lawson, Dickey, Jacobs; Bumgardner. 2B – Dickey, Morgan; Nees.
Highlights – South Vermillion’s 11-hit attack included four home runs from Jordan Branz, Kaden Lawson, Seth Dickey, Brody Jacob. Dickey and Jacobs also had doubles. Branz (2-0) pitched his second complete game of the season, giving up five hits four runs. For South Putnam, Wyatt Nee was 2-3 with a double and Justin Bumgardner hit a two-run home run.
Next — South Vermillion (2-0) plays at Terre Haute South on Tuesday.