Alex Meyer is seen releasing a pitch during his two-hit victory in the Sectional 28 game between South Dearborn and Greensburg. Meyer struck out 15 Knights in the game won by Greensburg 6-3.

Greensburg travels north to New Palestine this evening to do battle

with the Dragons, Indiana’s No. 2 rated team in Class

3A baseball.

The Dragons, who compiled a 29-2 record during the regular

season in the tough Hoosier Heritage Conference and made short work

of the opposition in Sectional 27 last week. They disposed of

Hamilton Heights 10-0 in six innings and Rushville 13-0 in five in

what proved to be inter-conference play for the Dragons.

Hitting wise, the two squads are very similar. They are both high

scoring squads scoring in large numbers. New Palestine is

averaging more than 10 runs per game while holding its opponents to

less than two runs per game.

A major reason for this is the presence of three pitchers in the top 50 in the state in earned run average. They are Patrick Kraft (1.65), Nick Hopkins (1.70) and Derek Higgins (1.74).

Oddly enough, four of the pitchers ahead of Kraft are also in this bracket, including three from Crawfordsville - Cameron

Hobson, No. 1 in the state with and ERA of .20, Steven Rice (1.04)

and Andrew Swart (1.12).

The other pitcher will be Greensburg’s starter Alex Meyer who

ranked 15th at the end of the regular season.

He will face a line-up that, like Greensburg, has three hitters ranked

in the top 50 in some category - John Fitzgerald who is just ahead of

Meyer in doubles with 13 and 12, respectively, Fitzgerald and Scott

Lawley who have 39 and 38 hits, respectively and runs where Lawley has scored 37. That would tie him with Greensburg's Mitch Adams while Meyer is one run behind. Adams is tied with Fitzgerald with 39 hits

and Meyer is tied with Lawley for 38.

One area where there is some separation is the power department -

home runs. There is no comparison between the two squads with

the Pirates having three hitters in the top 50 in the category. As of the

date the state statistics were compiled (May 24), Adams had 12

home runs (tied for 10th and one dinger from a tie for second) and Meyer

and Kieran McCamment with nine each.

Currently, McCamment has taken the team lead with 13

bombs and Meyer added another to get into double figures.

Where the power parlays itself into wins is in the RBI department.

Although he doesn’t have the home run statistics that McCamment

and Adams have, Andrew Armour has an edge in RBIs, collecting 38

in the regular season. Adams and McCamment are close by with 36

and 35 runs driven in, respectively.

Yet, despite the offensive figures for the two squads, the game will

likely boil down to the two things that decide important baseball

games - pitching and defense.

Here the Pirates hold the advantage in a one-game playoff - pitching.

Meyer has pitched tough games against tough teams and been

roughed up once all season in a game the Pirates won. New Pal’s

trio will likely find Meyer head-and-shoulders taller in skill as well

as stature.

The only drawback is the Pirates must play good defense, an area

where they have had lapses that permitted runs all year. The

Dragons have good defense as demonstrated by the

close correlation of runs scored to earned-run-average.

New Palestine hasn’t been scored on yet this postseason, but that

should end early this evening, but the key to the game is whether

Meyer can give up the number of runs, or less, that matches his ERA.

The winner of this game returns to action on Saturday at Jasper’s

Ruxer Field in the second game slated to start at 1 PM.

That winner will play the winner of the game between the match-ups

tonight between North Harrison and West Vigo and Brebeuf Jesuit

and Crawfordsville. That game starts at 11 AM Saturday.

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