The New Palestine baseball team used a plethora of big innings Friday in a doubleheader sweep of Yorktown.
Playing their home opener, the Dragons won Game 1 16-2 in five innings, then followed with a 9-0 victory in the nightcap.
In Game, the Dragons wasted little time getting started, scoring five runs in each of their first two innings. NP added another run in the third and five more in the fourth.
RBI hits from Jack Walker, Jacob Bain, Eric Roudebush and Grant Hickman – the latter a double – paced the five-run first. In the second, Treor Rush and Noah Mack sandwiched singles around an RBI triple by Walker. Hickman later drove in a run with a hit to push the edge to 10-0.
Colby Jenkins had the game’s big blast with a solo homer in the third. In the fourth, Henry Giesler had a two-run double to center, while Joshua Jaques had an RBI hit.
Walker and Josh Jaques combined on the victory. Walker (1-1) threw 3 2/3 innings, allowing two hits, one earned run and striking out five. Jaques scattered two hits and fanned one in 1 2/3 innings. NP outhit Yorktown 16-4 in the game.
Bain was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Hickman was 3-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Walker was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI. Jenkins was 2-for-4 with three runs, a solo homer and an RBI. Mack was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Roudebush was also 2-for-3 with three runs and an RBI. Giesler was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI. Rush was 1-for-2 with two runs.
In the nightcap, one big inning broke things open for the Dragons, while Zach Neligh and Josh Jaques combined to shut out the Tigers. Neligh (2-0) pitched four scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out nine. Jaques faced the minimum over the final three innings, fanning three, for his first save of the year.
Neligh wiggled out of a couple of jams. In the third, the Tigers had the bases loaded on two singles and a walk. Neligh struck out cleanup hitter Gehrig Smalstig to end the threat. The next inning, Yorktown led off with a double and a walk and had both runners in scoring position. Neligh fanned the next three batters – the last three he would face – to end the inning. Jaques allowed only one baserunner – a sixth-inning walk. But Giesler tracked down a long flyball in deep center and doubled the runner – who was going on contact – off first base.
Offensively, NP did its damage early. In the second inning, Roudebush led off with a single. He moved up to third and scored when Giesler laced a two-out single into right. Giesler later scored on a wild pitch to give NP a 2-0 lead.
The Dragons then plated six runs in the third inning, loading the bases on a hit batter and back-to-back singles from Mack and Bain. That touched off the inning in which the first six Dragons reached. Roudebush had an RBI single, while Grant Wiegand and Vince Dant walked. Five of the six runs came home on either wild pitches or passed balls. NP made it 9-0 in the fifth when Wiegand led off with a hit and scored on Jenkins’ one-out single. NP loaded the bases and threatened to add more, but Walker’s screaming line drive was caught at first base for the second out, and the Tigers were able to get out of the inning.
Roudebush led the Dragons at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Bain was 2-for-4 with a run. Wiegand was 1-for-3 with two runs. Giesler was 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Jenkins was 1-for-2 wiht an RBI. Mack and Rush were both 1-for-4. Tommy Hartman and Josh Jaques were each 1-for-1.
The Dragons are now 4-4 on the season and 3-1 in HHC play. They are next in action at 5:30 p.m. Monday at home against Whiteland.