The New Palestine baseball team swept a doubleheader from Delta Monday night, winning 10-1 and 7-0 games.
The victories moved the Dragons to 15-3 overall and 8-2 in Hoosier Heritage Conference play. NP moved into a first-place tie with Pendleton Heights in the league standings.
The seniors shone on Senior Night, with Keegan Watson having a huge day in Game 1 – hitting two homers, a triple and driving in seven runs. He also struck out nine in six innings on the mound. Tyler Martin also homered twice. In Game 2, Jacob Smith drove in three runs and Martin broke the game open with a two-run single, while junior Kyle Gardner threw six shutout innings.
Watson wasted little time getting the Dragons going in Game 1. After Nick Rusche and Colby Jenkins singled to lead off the game, he crushed a fastball to straightaway center for a three-run homer. In his next at-bat, he followed Jenkins’ single by blasting another homer to put NP up 5-0. In the fourth, he hit a two-run triple to put the Dragons up 8-0, plating Jacob Hickman and Jarrett Jaques, who both singled to lead off the inning. Watson didn’t have an opportunity to add to his seven RBI total, as he drew an intentional walk in his final plate appearance of the game.
Watson now has five homers on the season.
Martin clubbed solo homers in the third and fifth to extend the Dragons’ lead, giving him three homeruns on the year. Jack Walker also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
In addition to the four homers, Jaques had a single and a double, Jenkins was 3-for-4 with a double and three runs. Jacob Smith hit a double. Hickman and senior Dawson Schrowe also had hits.
Watson was dominant on the mound, allowing only a one-out double in the first and an infield hit in the fifth. He also walked one batter and hit one in six innings before yielding to Smith for the seventh. NP outhit Delta 14-3.
In the second game, the Dragons again wasted little time getting going. Watson walked and scored on a hard-hit double by Smith that bounced off the wall in the first. In the second, Martin hit a leadoff single and scored on a two-out base hit up the middle by senior Andrew Roberts.
The game held at 2-0 until the fifth, when Rusche led off with a single and Watson drew a one-out intentional walk. They moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch, and both scored when Smith laced a 3-2 pitch into centerfield, putting the Dragons up 4-0. Smith would later score on a wild pitch.
NP added two more runs in the seventh on a two-out single by Martin.
Gardner was strong, scattering five hits through six innings, walking one and striking out six. No Delta baserunner got past second base. Jaques pitched a perfect seventh to finish the game off.
Smith led the Dragon attack in Game 2, going 2-for-2 with a double, two runs and three RBI. He also walked twice. Watson walked three times and scored each time. He also had a hard-hit line-drive out in his only at-bat. Martin was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI. Roberts was 1-for-2 with an RBI. Walker hit a double. Rusche also singled and scored, as the Dragons outhit Delta 7-5.
The Dragons next play Tuesday at home against Fishers. They then travel to Pendleton Heights for a 5:30 p.m. doubleheader.