New Palestine High School
Baseball run ends in semistate
By Andrew Smith | Jun 10, 2023 8:00 PM
The New Palestine baseball team's tremendous run through the state tournament came to a close Saturday, as the Dragons dropped a 7-3 decision to Castle in the Class 4A Plainfield semistate.
The Dragons took an early lead, but Castle scored five runs in the third inning and used a stellar pitching performance from Auburn-bound starter Cam Tilly to make it stick.
In the opening inning, the Dragons took a quick lead. Leadoff batter Ben Morwick was hit with a pitch. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Nic Deering's grounder to the right side and scored on a wild pitch.
Starting pitcher Blaine Nunnally pitched around a single and another baserunner in the first and retired the Knights in order in the second.
In the third, Castle scored five runs on five hits - all singles - to take the lead.
The Dragons threatened in the fourth, as Deering and Wes Stiller both walked to lead off the inning, but Tilly struck out the next three batters to end the threat.
Castle added a run in the bottom of the inning with a two-out walk followed by a triple to go up 6-1.
In the fifth, Michael Thorpe relieved Nunnally after a one-out walk and immediately induced a doubleplay to end the threat.
The Dragons closed their deficit in the sixth. With two outs, Stiller laced a double into the right-centerfield gap for the Dragons' first hit of the game. Nunnally then followed with a sharp single to left to plate Stiller. Nunnally advanced to second on the play, then stole third and scored on an errant throw to cut the Knights' lead to 6-3.
Brayden Marrow came on to pitch the sixth. Castle scored a run on two its, but Marrow worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by inducing a popup and a flyout to end the threat, but the Dragons were unable to get a baserunner in the seventh.
Nunnally and Stiller had the Dragons' two hits in the contest, as they were outhit 9-2 by the Knights.
The Dragons finish a stellar season 23-10, which included an eight-game winning streak and a streak of 13 wins in 15 games, as well as the program's second straight sectional title and first regional championship since 2014. It was the final game for a senior class of Nunnally, Stiller, Marrow, Morwick, Nolan Cox, Brock Whitaker, Chase Ankney and Tyler Dean, six of whom will play college baseball next season.