Heading into Wednesday night's baseball game between Top of Iowa West conference foes Forest City and Garner-Hayfield-Ventura (GHV), the Cardinals knew they would be short-handed.
GHV would be missing a handful of starters due to the soccer team's postseason third round matchup against Waterloo Columbus.
And once the game started, the Indians took full advantage.
Forest City earned a convincing 14-4 win at home over GHV in five innings to earn its second win of the year and send the Cardinals home with a loss in their season-opener.
"It's good for us to come out with a little bit of energy," Forest City head coach Jeff Jerome said. "We've gotten better every single night, especially with our approaches."
The Cardinals opened up the game in the top of the first inning by scoring two runs, but the Indians responded by piling on four in the bottom of the first to take a two-run lead.
The Indians broke open the game in the second inning by scoring seven runs. The scoring outburst was powered by RBI doubles from both Kellen Moore and Jack Thompson. Truman Knudtson also earned a hit that scored two runners, followed by scoring himself after a couple errors in the field.
The Indians scored one more run in the bottom of the third when Jaxon Archer hit an RBI double to right field. Forest City led, 12-2, after three innings.
"We came out and started swinging right away," pitcher Reese Moore said.
The starter on the mound, Reese Moore struck out eight batters in just over four innings of play. However, he was taken out after a couple walks and hit batters in the fifth inning. The Cardinals scored two runs before the top of the fifth frame was over to make the score 12-4.
"I pitched a few good innings there, but it kind of got away from us there at the end a little bit," Reese Moore said. "In the last inning we were able to put up a couple more runs and seal the deal."
The Indians sent the Cardinals home early by scoring two more runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Knudtson led the Indians at the plate with three hits and four RBIs on the night. Sam Wood earned two singles for the Cardinals.
The Indians moved to 2-1 on the season, while the Cardinals fell to 0-1.
Gunnar Davis covers sports. Reach him via email at Gunnar.Davis@GlobeGazette.com or by phone 641-421-0598.