ROLLING PRAIRIE- Heading into ORWBL action on Sunday, the New Carlisle Newts needed either one win or a loss by the Olive Township Mechanics to lock up the National League East Division title.
They got three of each.
New Carlisle (22-8) wrapped up the regular season with a sweep of arch-rival Rolling Prairie (10-17), 14-12, 13-1, and 6-3. Meanwhile, at The Garage, the Mechanics (16-14) were swept away by the Great Lakes Godfathers (11-19).
With the division championship, New Carlisle receives a bye into the NLDS on Sunday, July 23. They will face the winner of a one-game Wild Card Round between the Mechanics and the Lynn Street Leprechauns (3-27).
In the series at the Grassy Knoll, Garrett Curless fell just short of reaching his milestone 300th home run. Heading into the day, Curless needed four to become just the fifth player in ORWBL history to reach the mark. He flew out to right field in his final at bat in the sixth inning of game three.
New Carlisle now leads the rivalry series with Rolling Prairie, 31-25. The Newts have won nine of the last ten meetings between the clubs, including the last seven, dating back to the 2015 Postseason.
The 2017 National East crown is the seventh division championship in franchise history. The Newts previously won the National League regular season title in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, New Carlisle won the ORWBL Central Division after a one-game playoff against Rolling Prairie. In 2010, the Newts won the National League East, as they did again last season. In 2014, with no divisional alignments, the Newts shared the regular season title with Cult West at 31-5.