On a clear, crisp mid-Spring evening, reminiscent more of fullbacks than fastballs, you could almost hear Trent Johnson shatter the icicles off catcher Westin Evans' glove. Johnson's 16 strikeout, six inning one-hitter shattered Tri-West, and Crawfordsville notched a 7-2 Sagamore Athletic Conference victory.

Johnson (4-0) faced 24 Bruin batters, and allowed only Lucas Goodin to earn his way aboard with a fifth inning 2-strike double. A check-swing strikeout ended the inning, and any Tri-West hopes. Johnson allowed only one walk on his way to his fourth win of the season.

“This is the fourth consecutive dominating performance for Trent,” lauded Crawfordsville head coach John Froedge. “He has improved so much in one year. It is a direct result of the hard work he's put in.”

Johnson retired the first ten batters he faced, with eight strikeouts, six caught looking. The two Tri-West runs were unearned, and were the result of careless play behind their ace, a fact not overlooked by Froedge.

“I know these guys can catch and throw. I see them do it every day in practice,” said the skipper with a wry grin. “We do have stuff to work on.”

At the plate, Crawfordsville was opportunistic. After leaving three runners on base in the first inning, sophomore Payten Abney led off the second with a sharp single down the first base line. Abney scored the first run of the game on Johnson's RBI double, then Johnson scored again by stealing third base, and racing home on the throwing error by catcher Derek Wagner.

The early lead gave Johnson the cushion to explore his pitching arsenal, and the junior was masterful with his fastball, curve, and change.

“When we score runs early,” said Froedge, “it makes it so much easier when we have Trent on the mound. I was pleased to see Abney get us started in his first SAC action.”

The Athenian errors kept the game relatively close behind Tri-West starter Nick Rabe (LP), who settled down from a three walk start to pitch five hit ball through six innings.

“Tri-West (1-1, 0-1 SAC) has a nice young pitching staff,” noted Froedge. “They've only played two games this season, and we were hoping to take advantage of their inexperience.”

The Athenians (6-2, 1-0 SAC) put the game out of reach with three runs in the sixth off of reliever Zach Waters, generated by back-to-back singles by Will Kellerman and Sam Lucas.

“That's our game,” acknowledged Froedge. “We manufacture runs.”

The two teams meet again Thrusday night at Tri-West. The venues were switched this week, because heavy rains yesterday created unfavorable field conditions on the Bruin diamond.

Saturday, Crawfordsville hosts the 32nd Annual Crawfordsville Invitational Tournament. Crawfordsville is the two-time defending champion of the venerable tournament, but will find themselves challenged to repeat this year by three ranked teams – Carmel, Lafayette Catholic, and Peru.