INDIANAPOLIS — Five of New Palestine’s seven seniors saw action during the Dragons’ last sectional championship in 2012 and the subsequent Class 4A semistate run.
All five played major roles in NP’s 7-5 victory over Brebeuf Jesuit Tuesday at Chatard in the 3A Sectional 26 title game, including Connor Swain – who wears No. 15 for the red and white – putting the finishing touch on the program’s 15th sectional crown.
Last season, Swain, Nick Butcher, Cameron and Steven Clark and Evan Vance were juniors when the Dragons fell 7-4 to Franklin Central in the Sectional 13 quarterfinals, meaning the program had failed to advance to a sectional title game for the first time since 2007.
“Knowing that this is our last go-around makes it more meaningful than when we were sophomores. It’s real fun to know that we all contributed to the team,” said Butcher, who reached base three times, scored two runs and added a sacrifice fly out of the leadoff spot Tuesday. “Back when I was a sophomore, I was just fielding; I wasn’t hitting. To know that all of us are contributing, that’s real nice.”
NP (21-9) and Brebeuf (22-7) were forced to complete the Sectional 26 championship game Tuesday after inclement weather forced a suspension of play Monday in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Dragons leading 4-3.
NP picked up three additional runs to go up 7-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh Tuesday.
Vance, who took over on the mound for Dragon starter Cameron Clark in the top of the fifth, got the first Brave batter to fly out. But, Brebeuf notched a single, a triple and a single to plate a pair of runners. Swain was summoned from right field to finish off the game.