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HHC title still in doubt: NP, PH split twinbill
May 12, 2012By Andrew Smith of Hancock County Sports
Dragons split with Pendleton Heights: New Palestine split a doubleheader with Pendleton Heights in a matchup of HHC leaders.
NP won the opening game 8-0, scoring five runs in the sixth to break open what had been a close game, and getting a pitching gem from Brian Page. In the nightcap, PH's Hunter Cook hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the seventh to account for the only run in a 1-0 Arabian victory.
That leaves the teams in a virtual tie for the HHC lead with one week to play. NP hosts Rushville Friday. PH visits Yorktown for a single game Tuesday before hosting Mt. Vernon in a doubleheader Friday.
In the opener, Page scattered seven hits and cruised through the early innings, retiring seven straight Arabians from the end of the first thorugh the fourth. PH had nine baserunners the last four innings, but left the bases loaded twice. Page struck out four to improve his personal record to 5-0 on the year.
NP got its offense going against PH's Jordan Humfleet with two outs in the fourth. Reid Clark drew a one-out walk. His pinch runner, Andrew Rejer, stole second with two outs, and was rewarded when Cameron Clark dropped an RBI single into right. Page and Alex Rejer followed with RBI doubles to make it a 3-0 game.
NP scored five more in the sixth, loading the bases on a leadoff hit by Connor Swain and walks to Cameron Calrk and Page. Steven Clark had a 2-run single through a drawn-in infield to make it 5-0. Alec Shull followed with an RBI double. NP would later load the bases, and score two more on Reid Clark's two-run single to right.
Alex Rejer had two doubles and an RBI for the Dragons. Ulrey also had a single and a double and Swain two singles to pace an 11-hit attack.
In the nightcap, Cook provided the only offense as NP's Reid Clark and PH's Mitch Patishall had dueling gems. Patishall threw a four-hit shutout and only allowed one Dragon into scoring position -- Shull drew a leadoff walk in the sixth and moved to second on Jacob Barnes' single to second. But a flyball out ended the threat. Patishall struck out seven Dragons in the win. NP was held to four singles -- from Ulrey, Cameron Clark, Barnes and Swain.
Cook hit a one-out pitch high over the leftfield fence for his fifth homerun of the year to provide all of the offense. While Patishall had been throwing a gem, so was Reid Clark in what eventually became a losing effort. He surrendered a first-inning single to Patishall and a fifth-inning hit to Skylar Reis. In-between, he only surrendered two walks, and erased one vai doubleplay. PH only advanced one runner into scoring position -- Reis moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a fielder's choice before Clark recorded the last of his six strikeouts to end the inning.
He had retired six straight Arabians before Cook's game-winning hit to left. NP is now 8-2 in games decided in the last at-bat.
The Dragons are 17-5/10-2 in the HHC. Pendleton Heights is 18-3/9-2 in conference play. If both teams win out in conference play -- or have an equal number of losses -- they will split the HHC title.
Mt. Vernon splits with Shelbyville: Drew Kammerer drove in three runs as the Marauders won Game 1 by a 10-4 score, giving MV its fifth win in its last six HHC games and improving the Marauders' HHC record to 5-6.
MV dropped the nightcap, as the Golden Bears rallied to beat the Marauders 10-5.
G-C splits with Rushville: Rushville won an 11-10 decision in eight innings in the opener, but the Cougars rallied to win the nightcap 5-4.
HHC baseball standings going into final week
New Palestine 10-2/Friday vs. Rushville
Pendleton Heights 9-2/Tuesday at Yorktown (single game), Friday vs. Mt. Vernon
Greenfield-Central 7-5/Friday vs. Yorktown
Rushville 6-6/Friday at New Palestine
Delta 5-7/Saturday vs. Shelbyville
Mt. Vernon 5-7/Friday at Pendleton Heights
Yorktown 3-8/Tuesday vs. Pendleton Heights (single game), Friday at Greenfield-Central
Shelbyville 2-10/Saturday at Delta
New Palestine sweeps Connersville: The Dragons posted a sweep of the Connersville Spartans, winning their fifth five-inning mercy rule games in four days.
In the opener, NP won 15-1. The freshmen supplied the power -- Kaylin McMurray hit two homers and drove in five runs, while Adie Lorsung also homered. That boosted the Dragons, who scored in every inning. NP led 8-1 after three, then piled on with a six-run fourth.
Senior Liza Fiers was 4-for-4 with three doubles and two RBI. Clare Myers had three hits and an RBI. Audrey East had two doubles and two RBI. Julie Moore also had a pair of hits for NP. McMurray allowed two hits and one unearned run while striking out five in four innings to get the win, before yielding way to Rachel Vawter for the final inning.
In the second game, NP put up seven runs in the first inning en route to an 11-0 five-inning win. East hit two homers -- giving her eight on the year and 21 for her career -- and drove in four. Alexa Cavin had three hits and three RBI. Myers also had two hits and two RBI for the Dragons. Markie Wood and Vawter each had a hit and scored twice. McMurray again threw five innings, striking out one and allowing just four hits for the shutout.
NP is now 18-5 on the year after a 5-0 week in which it outscored teams 64-5 and never played past the fifth inning. The Dragons close the season with four games next week -- starting with a home game Monday against Greenwood. NP, which is 5-1 in the HHC, can clinch a share of the conference title by beating Delta at home in its finale Friday.