The Newton High School baseball team held on to a close win and let another close game slip away in a split with Salina South Friday in AV-CTL I play at Klein-Scott Field.
Newton won the first game 2-1 and lost the second game 5-1.
“The first game, we got ourselves in some challenging situations and then we got ourselves out of them,” Newton coach Mark George said. “We had some timely hitting. Pitching-wise, we threw well. Tanner (Arellano) threw well, Warren (Dietz) threw well, Kaden (Davis) threw well and Bryan (Cusick) threw well. Those four guys gave us a great chance on the mound. They really set the tone. Offensively, we hit a lot of balls hard tonight. We had a hard time getting a leadoff batter on base in game no. 2. In the first game, we did a great job of getting a leadoff batter on, but we didn’t keep them on clean. We did some things on the basepaths that hurt us. Baserunning is one of those things you can control — knowing the situation and keeping focused. Salina South’s bottom half of the order did a good job of getting on base in the second game and got timely hitting when they needed it.”
The Railer defense allowed a runner to third base with one out in the first inning and runners at second and third with one out in the second inning. All of the baserunners were left stranded.
Hunter Mapes hit a single with two outs in the bottom of the first inning to score a Railer run. South loaded the bases with one out in the top of the sixth, scoring a run on a Cole Wassenberg squeeze bunt. A ground out ended the threat.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bryan Cusick and Sport Tegethoff each singled. Kaden Davis bunted to move the runners over. A wild pitch scored Cusick and ended the game.
Newton starter Tanner Arellano went 5 2-3 innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits with three walks. Kaden Davis finished the game for the win, allowing just one hit in 1 1-3 innings.
Justin Sullivan went five innings for South, allowing five hits, a run, three walks and two strikeouts. Cade Peters finished the game for the loss, allowing a run on two hits.
Jacob Lindenmeyer went two for three hitting for Newton.
In the second game, South scored in the second inning on a Wassenberg RBI single. Mason Lundgrin added a sacrifice fly in the third inning.
Newton got back in the game in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double for Lindenmeyer. South replied with three runs in the seventh on a two-run single for Lundgrin and a triple for Sullivan.
Wassenberg and Brady McAfee each went two for three hitting for South. Sullivan went two for four. Lindenmeyer went three for three for the Railers.
Tiger Humm went the distance for South, allowing a run on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Warren Dietz took the loss for Newton, allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Cusick and Kaden Davis each threw an inning.
“There weren’t a whole lot of mistakes tonight,” George said. “For the most part, we kept it pretty clean. Just a couple of errors that didn’t really cost it. The positive was we had the mental fortitude to make the plays when we needed to.”
Salina South is 7-5, 5-3 in AV-CTL I play. Newton is 5-7, 3-5 in league play, and scheduled to play at 1 p.m. today at Derby, weather permitting, followed by Hutchinson at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Hobart-Detter Stadium.
“We need to continue to get better each game,” George said. “We need to continue to get better each practice. This is a process. We need to be playing our best at the end of the year.
“We’ve got two guys ready for tomorrow. We’ve got several other guys in Christian Malcolm, Clay Nye and a couple others who can go for us if we need them. Warren and Tanner are done until Tuesday. … The pitch count rule for us is really a challenge. For some schools, it isn’t, because they can go deeper. Other programs can throw four guys, and it isn’t a big deal. They can throw four more guys with similar stuff. For guys like us, it’s a little bit more navigation and strategy.”
Sullivan, Peters (L) 6 and Jensen; Arellano, K.Davis (W) 6 and Lindenmeyer
Humm (W) and Jensen; Dietz (L), Cusick 6, K.Davis 7 and Lindenmeyer.