A gritty performance on the mound by sophomore Derek Pike and some timely hitting by Joel Frias, Drew Standifer and their Fort Osage teammates helped the Indians rough up one of the hottest teams in Eastern Jackson County.

A gritty performance on the mound by sophomore Derek Pike and some timely hitting by Joel Frias, Drew Standifer and their Fort Osage teammates helped the Indians rough up one of the hottest teams in Eastern Jackson County.

The Indians used a 6-run fifth inning and 4-run sixth to claim an 11-5 victory over 16-3 Lee’s Summit West Thursday afternoon at Fort Osage.

“I believe that’s the first time we’ve beat West, and the boys went out and got it done today,” Fort Osage coach Chris Walker said after his team inched closer to the .500 mark at 8-9.

“They’re one of the best teams you’re going to face all year. So this should get everyone fired up for some big conference games next week.”

Pike is a slight left-hander who seems to gain more confidence as the season progresses.

“We just keep giving Pike the ball, and he goes out and isn’t intimidated no matter who he’s facing,” Walker said.

That includes Titans catcher Matt Fultz, a lefty who took advantage of a strong wind that was blowing to right field to crush two long home runs.

But with the game on the line, and the Indians clinging to a 7-3 lead, Pike got a called third strike against the Titans’ clean-up man with runners on first and third base.

“I was thinking about walking him, but I didn’t want to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate ... So I just let Derek pitch to see what he could do,” Walker said. “And he probably got his biggest strikeout of the season.”

Pike said he knew who was at the plate and wanted to bear down to make sure Fultz didn’t hit home run No. 3.

“That last pitch wasn’t where I wanted it, but I got the called strike,” said Pike, who improved to 2-1. “When I threw it, my heart stopped, because it wasn’t as far outside as I wanted it. Then I got the called strike and felt a lot better.”

He also felt better when his teammates gave him that lead in the fifth by scoring six runs.

“That was awesome,” Pike said. “They (West) made some errors, and we took advantage of them early.

“Then it seemed like everyone who came to the plate got a hit.”

Fultz hit a solo homer in the second and a two-run shot in the fourth to give West a 3-1 lead.

The Indians’ first run came on Standifer’s fourth home run of the season.

But the Indians offense got busy in the fifth inning as Chance Divers opened with a drive to deep right center that Matt Hall chased down and caught, making a diving catch.

Then, the flood gates opened.

Titans starter Alex Lange walked Alex Greer and Spencer Gearhart reached base on a double error (fielding and throwing) by shortstop Travis Stroud.

Standifer followed with an RBI single. Frias hit a two-run triple. Cody Crabb had an RBI single. Brett Graham hit an RBI single, and Divers, who started the inning with the out, collected an RBI single.

“Big, big inning for the Indians,” said Jay Meyer, a Truman High School grad and coach of the Titans. “The double error hurt. We bobble the ball then throw it away, and then they start hitting every pitch that’s thrown up there.

“Chris’ kids did a nice job today on the mound and at the plate. A few years back, I’d have blown a gasket over a loss like this. But I’ve mellowed, and I know a lot of teams would like to be 16-3. We just have to use this loss as a learning tool.”

Standifer and Frias finished with three hits and three RBIs.

“When I get to the park, I look to see if the flags in right field are blowing out – and when they’re blowing out like today, I just get a big smile on my face,” Standifer said grinning.

Frias didn’t get the ball out of the park, but did have a single, double, triple and three RBIs

“When Derek is on the mound, you know he’s going to battle. So (you) want to score some runs to give him the chance to win,” Frias said. “This was a big win for everyone.”