The New Palestine baseball team won a battle of Top 10-ranked teams Thursday, beating Knightstown 7-2.
The Dragons entered the day ranked No. 3 in the IHSBCA Class 3A poll. Knightstown was ranked No. 8 in the 2A poll. Both teams were unbeaten coming into the day.
Jack Walker hit two triples for the Dragons, who had eight hits in the contest. Jacob Smith had two RBI singles and scored twice to pace the attack.
Knightstown drew first blood, with all-state catcher Isaac McRoberts hitting a first-inning triple and scoring on a sacrifice fly, but from there, Jacob Garrison (2-0) struck out five straight batters. He retired 11 of the next 14 batters he would face. He fanned eight in 4 1/3 innings to get the victory, surrendering two hits and two walks. Tyler Martin finished the day with 2 2/3 solid innings, in which he surrendered two hits and one earned run, fanning two.
The Dragons quickly re-took the lead. Nick Rusche led off the bottom of the first by reaching on an error and scored on Smith’s RBI single. Smith made it 2-0 on a passed ball. Walker followed with his first triple, but was stranded on third.
NP extended the lead in the second when Kyle Gardner reached on a leadoff walk and scored on an error. In the third, Smith reached on an error and scored on Walker’s RBI triple down the leftfield line. Martin’s sharp single to right plated a second run, and a base hit by Garrison brought Martin home to put the Dragons up 6-1. Keegan Watson doubled and scored on Smith’s RBI hit in the fourth to extend the lead.
Smith was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Walker was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two triples, as well as a run.Watson was 2-for-4 with a run. Martin was 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Garrison was 1-for-2 with an RBI.
The Dragons are now 6-0 on the season. They are back in action Friday at home with a doubleheader against Yorktown.