Baseball (Varsity) New Palestine High School

Baseball advances to sectional final

By Andrew Smith | May 25, 2024 6:41 PM


The New Palestine baseball team used a six-run third inning to take command and pull away to an 11-1 six-inning victory over Richmond in Saturday's Class 4A New Palestine sectional semifinal. The Dragons (23-5) advance to face Greenfield-Central in Monday's 11 a.m. sectional championship game. Richmond, the North Central Conference champion, finished the season 18-14. G-C defeated Pendleton Heights 3-0 in Saturday's second semifinal. Michael Thorpe pitched a complete-game shutout, scattering six hits to improve to 6-1 on the season. The Dragons pounded 15 hits in the contest, as each of the last five batters in the order had two hits apiece. The game appeared to be a pitcher's duel between Thorpe and Richmond's Casey Blevins at the outset. Thorpe struck out the first four Red Devils he faced and fanned five through the first two frames. He finished the day with eight strikeouts and no walks. Blevins was matching him early, pitching around a first-inning infield hit by Nic Deering and a second-inning double by Wyatt Mathies. The Dragons pounced on their opportunity in the bottom of the third inning. Gavin Neal started with an infield hit. Adam Rickey walked. The next batter, Deering, looped a ball into short center that was mishandled by the Richmond centerfielder. However, because the runners had to hold expecting a catch, Neal was thrown out at third on a close play. But the Dragons then began squaring up Blevins. Jacob Morris and Jackson Kamp drilled back-to-back singles to plate runs. Rigg Mahurin followed with a hard single down the leftfield line to plate two more runs. After a groundout, Henry Thorpe reached on an infield hit to plate Mahurin. Neal followed with his second hit of the frame to put the Dragons up 6-0. The Dragons continued to add on. Morris doubled and scored on Mahurin's single in the fourth to put NP up 7-0. In the fifth, Richmond scored a run on three hits in the top of the frame, but the Dragons answered, as Henry Thorpe led off with a double. He was bunted to third by Neal and scored on Rickey's sharp single up the middle. Rickey later scored on an error, putting the Dragons up 9-1. In the sixth, the Dragons triggered the mercy rule against a freshman reliever. Mathies led off with a hit. Henry Thorpe and Neal walked to load the bases. Jace Jaques' pinch-hit sac fly plated one run, while the last run came home on a wild pitch to end the game. Morris was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI. Mahurin was 2-for-3 with a run and three RBI. Hirschy was 2-for-4 with a run. Mathies was also 2-for-4 with a double and a run. Henry Thorpe was 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and an RBI. Neal was 2-for-2 with an RBI. Rickey was 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Deering was 1-for-3 with a run. Kamp was 1-for-4 with an RBI. All nine of the Dragons' starters had at least one hit.