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Monday county wrap: Ochs fans 13 in NP win, Banton's walkoff boosts G-C, East's slam leads NP SB
April 9, 2012By Andrew Smith of Hancock County Sports
Greenfield-Central 10, Beech Grove 9: Jared Banton hit a pinch walk-off homer to give the Cougars a come-from-behind victory over Beech Grove.
Banton's homer to right came on an 0-2 pitch leading off the bottom of the seventh, completing a rally from deficits of 6-0 and 9-5.
The Cougars did it with tremendous power, as Clark Pence had two homers and Cam Gruell also hit one out of the park for G-C.
Pence's two homers drove in five runs for the Cougars, including a 2-run homer that capped a three-run third inning and cut the deficit to 6-3. Brendon Neal also had an RBI hit in the inning and was along for the ride on Pence's homer. G-C added two more in the fourth to cut the deficit to one, but the Hornets added a homer to push the edge back to 9-5.
That's when the G-C offense went to work again. Pence hit a 3-run homer to bring in Jayden Jackson and Brendon Neal, who singled to lead off the sixth. Gruell then homered later in the inning to tie the game, setting the stage for Banton's heroics in the seventh.
Mitch Gibson was the winning pitcher in relief.
G-C is now 5-2 on the year. The Cougars continue their schedule Tuesday against Lawrence Central at 6 p.m. They then travel to Perry Meridian for a Friday doubleheader.
New Palestine 14, Perry Meridian 2: Senior pitcher Stephen Ochs struck out 13 batters to get his first career varsity victory as the New Palestine Dragons beat the Perry Meridian Falcons 14-2 Monday afternoon at NPHS.
After allowing a single and a triple to the first two Falcon hitters -- who both scored -- Ochs was in control, striking out the side in the first, second and fifth innings, and fanning two batters in the third and fourth. He accounted for all but one of the Dragons' outs, also picking off a runner in the third inning trying to steal second. The only ball put into play by Perry Meridian for an out was a grounder to shortstop Brian Page to end the fourth.
Ochs allowed four hits and one walk in five innings of work in addition to his 13 Ks.
Meanwhile, the Dragon offense got to work quickly. After falling behind 2-0 in the opening frame, NP got three hits in the bottom of the inning, starting with Alec Shull's single to left. Jacob Barnes walked, and both scored -- Shull coming home on a poor throw to first, and Barnes scoring on Nick Ulrey's sacrifice fly.
NP scored four more in the second to build a 6-2 advantage. Cameron Clark led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Steven Clark, Shull and Barnes loaded the bases with two walks and a single, and came home on a bases-loaded walk by Reid CLark, a sharp single by Ulrey and another RBI free pass to Page.
NP had 12 hits in the game, and Perry Meridian pitching walked eight batters.
The Dragons exploded for eight more runs in the fourth to end the game by mercy rule. Walks to Barnes and Clark were followed by a sharp single to right by Ulrey -- which skipped by the rightfielder for a two-base error that brought both runners home and put Ulrey on third, where he would score via wild pitch. The Dragons piled on five more hits in the inning and a walk -- including a double by Connor Swain and a two-run triple by Barnes.
All 10 Dragon starters -- including Ochs, who took his place in the lineup in the fourth in place of the DH -- scored at least one run.
Barnes was 2-for-2 with a triple, three runs and two RBI. Ulrey was 2-for-2 with a run and two RBI. Page was 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI. Cameron Cloark was 2-for-3 with a triple, a single, two runs and an RBI. Alex Rejer, Shull and Reid Clark also drove in runs.
The Dragons are now 5-0 on the young season and play at Warren Central Wednesday before returning home Friday to face HHC rival Shelbyville in a doubleheader.
New Palestine 13, Roncalli 2: Audrey East's grand slam broke the game open in the sixth inning as the Dragons scored 11 runs in the final two innings to pull away from the Rebels.
NP took a 2-1 lead with a run in the fifth, then struck for five in the sixth and six more in the seventh.
Lizzie Garrison allowed three hits and struck out five to get the pitching victory for the Dragons.
East was 3-for-5 with a double in addition to her grand slam. Alexa Cavin had a hit, three walks and an RBI to go along with a stolen base. Liza Fires singled twice and doubled. Clare Myers singled and doubled. Erin Lehman had two hits, two RBI and three steals. Julie Moore also drove in two runs for the Dragons.
The Dragons are now 6-0 at the start of a busy week -- they travel to Franklin Central on Wednesday before hosting Hamilton Southeastern on Thursday and traveling to the Whiteland Tournament on Saturday.