The New Palestine baseball team swept New Castle to finish the regular season with a 9-5 Hoosier Heritage Conference record, good for second place in the league.
The Dragons staged a three-run rally in the seventh to win the opener 3-1, then exploded offensively in the second game for an 11-2 victory.
The Dragons finish the regular season with a 15-12 record.
In the opener, the Dragons trailed 1-0 entering the seventh inning. Back-to-back one-out hits by Henry Giesler and Colby Jenkins put the go-ahead run on base. Zach Neligh tied the game with a single to right. With two outs, the Dragons brought home the go-ahead run on a double-steal, with Jenkins swiping home. Noah Mack then brought home an insurance run with an RBI double.
New Castle put two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh against Neligh, but the Dragon pitcher induced a popout to end the game.
Neligh won the game in relief, allowing two hits and no runs in four innings, striking out six. Walker also fanned six over the first three innings, allowing one hit and one earned run. The Dragons pounded 12 hits, with Jenkins, Walker, Mack and Eric Roudebush all going 2-for-4. Giesler was 2-for-2. Grant Hickman and Neligh also had hits. Mack had two doubles.
In the second game, the Dragons plated three runs in the first to take an early lead, then broke the game open with a five-run fifth.
NP plated its 11 runs on just five hits, as the Dragons drew eight walks and took advantage of five New Castle errors.
The Dragons loaded the bases with none out in the first on an error, hit by pitch and walk. Mack drove in the first two runs with a base hit, while Jacob Bain plated another with a sacrifice fly. In the third, NP added another run on a walk, error and an RBI single by Giesler.
After New Castle drew within 4-2 in the fifth, the Dragons broke the game open, again loading the bases on two walks and a hit batter. Giesler drove in a run with a fielder’s choice. A double-steal added another run and an error plated a third. Walker followed with a two-run double to right to push the lead to 9-2. It became 11-2 after two walks, a hit batter, an error and a fielder’s choice.
Jaden Jaques pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits, two earned runs and striking out six to get the win. Joshua Jaques pitched the final 2/3 of an inning to finish the game.
Walker had the Dragons’ lone extra-base hit, driving in two. He also scored a run. Mack had a hit and an RBI. Roudebush and Trevor Rush each had a hit and a run. Giesler had a hit, a run and two RBI. Bain scored twice, drawing three walks, and drove in a run.
The Dragons next play at 7 p.m.Thursday at home in the sectional against Lawrence Central.