GREENFIELD — Class 3A No. 4 New Palestine and Greenfield-Central waited three extra days to play its pivotal Hoosier Heritage Conference doubleheader, and on a night where the wind was blowing straight out to right field, there promised to be some fireworks.
The fireworks had to wait until Game 2 however, as Greenfield shut out the Dragons 2-0 behind a stellar pitching performance from Ball State signee Drey Jameson.
The Dragons salvaged a split in the second game behind two home runs and two doubles, winning 6-3.
On the mound for the first game, two Division I recruits faced off, in Keegan Watson (Nebraska) and Jameson. Both pitchers struggled a bit in the first inning, but it was the Cougars who were able to capitalize, with Tyler Farrell lofting a ball into the jet stream in right-center for a two-run home run that hit the light pole.
New Palestine coach Shawn Lyons knew the first inning didn’t go well for his team.
“When you face a great pitcher like Drey, you’re most likely to get to him early,” Lyons said. “We got two runners on in the first, but didn’t bring them home. Greenfield got to Keegan in the first and those runs held up.”
Those two runs were all the Cougars would need, as Drey Jameson settled down after allowing two base runners in the first. He would complete the game striking out 14 batters and allowing only four hits. Watson only pitched four innings, battling to keep his team close. He struck out seven.
As for Jameson’s performance, Greenfield-Central head coach Robbie Miller has come to expect that caliber of performance from his ace.
“He’s going to Ball State for a reason,” Miller said. “When he’s on the mound, it’s easy to feel confident.”
Heading into Game 2, Greenfield and New Palestine were tied in the HHC standings, and the winner would take sole possession of second place. At the start of the game, it was a bit of déjà vu, as Greenfield-Central took an early 2-0 lead off a first-inning home run, this time by Spencer Hert.
The Dragons finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning, off a two-run home run by Jack Walker. They took the lead for good in the fifth inning on back-to-back home runs by Colby Jenkins and Watson.
Both coaches said they told their teams not to change their approach despite the wind.
“We always go for line drives,” Miller said. “But I also told them if you missed just a little bit on a line drive tonight it might go out.”
With the split, New Palestine’s record stands at 13-3 and 6-2 in the HHC, while Greenfield is 11-5 and 5-3 in the HHC.
New Palestine is scheduled to host Delta in a doubleheader Friday, while Greenfield is scheduled to host HHC leader Pendleton Heights on the same date.
Greenfield-Central 2, New Palestine 0
NPHS (12-3, 5-2 HHC);000;000;0;—;0;4;0
GCHS (11-4, 5-2 HHC);200;000;x;—;2;3;0
WP: Drey Jameson (5-0) LP: Keegan Watson (4-1)
HR: Tyler Farrell (GC) 2B: Cameron Pitzer (NP)
Notables: D. Jameson CG, 0 R, 14 K, 4 H; T. Farrell 1-3, HR, 2 RBI (GC). K. Watson 4 IP, 7 K, 2 H, 2 R (NP)
New Palestine 6, Greenfield-Central 3
GCHS (11-5, 5-3 HHC);200;000;1;—;3;4;1
NPHS (13-3, 6-2 HHC); 000;240;x;—;6;8;1
WP: Kyle Gardner (3-1) LP: Andrew Hutchison (1-1)
HR: Spencer Hert (GC); Jack Walker, Colby Jenkins, Keegan Watson (NP). 2B: Nick Rusche, Tyler Martin (NP).
Notables: C. Jenkins 1-1, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 HBP; Kyle Gardner CG, 2 R, 4 H, 5K (NP). S. Hert 1-3, HR, 2 RBI (GC)