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Dragons open season with 10-0 win

April 3, 2012
By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School

New Palestine opened its baseball season with a 10-0 five-inning victory over Eastern Hancock Tuesday afternoon in the season opener for both teams. 

NP's pitching was solid, with Brian Page, Reid Clark and Ryan Evans combining for a two-hit shutout. Page struck out for batters and allowed a hit in two innings before yielding to Clark, who fanned five of the seven hitters he faced and allowed only a walk. Evans came in, gave up a leadoff triple in the fifth, then struck out the side to preserve the shutout. 

The victory gave new Dragons head coach Shawn Lyons his first career varsity coaching victory. Lyons had been an assistant to Allen Cooper and Marvin Shepler for 14 seasons before taking over the top spot this past off-season. 

Jacob Barnes got the Dragon offense started with a long solo homer to center in the first inning off EH lefty Cody Wallace. Reid Clark then hit a triple to right and scored on a wild pitch to make it a 2-0 contest. 

The Dragons added six more runs in the second, sending 12 batters to the plate. Connor Swain led things off with a hit, but the inning really got going when 1-2 hitters Alex Rejer and Alec Shull hit back-to-back RBI doubles to put the Dragons up 4-0, then Barnes laced a liner to left that was misplayed for a two-base error that brought home another run. Reid Clark's single drove home Barnes to make it 6-0. Cameron Clark and Bria Page followed with back-to-back singles. Swain and Ryan Evans each drove in runs with a fielder's choice and a hit to make it an 8-0 contest. 

EH's Coston Brown came on in relief to get the last out of the inning, and he was effective in 2 1/3 innings of relief, allowing two unearned runs in the fifth. NP finished the game with those two runs  in the fifth when Stephen Ochs reached on an error, and was singled home by Andrew Rejer. Shull's infield hit put runners on first and third, and Rejer scored the final run on a passed ball to end the game via the 10-run mercy rule.

Reid Clark (1-0) was the winning pitcher in relief. Offensively, Shull, Barnes, Page and Reid Clark had two hits each. Alex Rejer, Andrew Rejer, Shull, Barnes, Reid Clark, Swain and Evans all had RBI for the Dragons. 

EH was led by Cole Fout, who had a leadoff triple in the fifth, and Evan Fout, who laced a two-out single in the first. 

The Dragons (1-0) are next in action Wednesday at Martinsville. They will then compete Friday at Mt. Vernon in the HHC opener, a game that will be broadcast by HancockCountySports.com and accessible at the NPHS iHigh site: http://www.ihigh.com/newpaldragons

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