When a baseball team scores eight runs in a game, it’s usually a safe bet that team will walk away with a victory.
When that doesn’t happen, however, it’s usually one of those nights.
The Newton baseball team had one of those nights Thursday, falling 19-8 to Chariton at Eversman Field in a game where it just couldn’t recover from a slow start.
“It started off with us giving them baserunners, and that just kind of set the tone for the night for both sides,” Newton co-coach Pat Riley said. “They were excited to be here, not that our kids weren’t, but when we would climb back, we would kick the ball around. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you’re not going to win when you do that.”
The Cardinals (1-2) indeed gave some baserunners up early, as Chariton took walks in five of its first six at-bats. Throw in two RBI base hits, and suddenly the Chargers were up 5-0 after Newton went quietly in the bottom of the first.
The second inning was a different story, however, as Chariton managed just one hit in its half of the frame. Cardinal sophomore Michael Barr got things moving with a two-out double, and was then knocked in by junior Levi Michener.
Starting pitcher Jacob Marter then helped his cause with an RBI single, and sophomore Tyler Wood capped the inning with an RBI triple to pull the Cards back to a 5-3 deficit.
“Offensively, we did everything we could do except get nine hits in a row,” Newton co-coach Darin Tisdale said. “We can’t really expect anything else from them, and I’m sure their pitcher went home thinking he gave up a lot of runs.”
That was when the floodgates began to open, however. Chariton managed four runs in the top of the third thanks to a few Newton errors and a bases-clearing double by starting pitcher Jordan Baughman.
Newton senior Jacob Hill had an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning, but Chariton negated that with another run in the top of the fourth.
Wood continued his good offensive night in bottom of the fourth, connecting with an RBI single to keep the Cardinals’ offense alive. Wood would later score on a passed ball, pegging the deficit at 10-6 with some hope still lingering in the Eversman Field faithful.
Chariton senior Austin Peterson quickly erased that hope in the top of the fifth, knocking a two-run home run over the left field after an error opened the inning. A few more Cardinal errors led to two more run-scoring hits for Chariton, which extended its lead to 14-5 before Newton sophomore Evan Shimon scored on a wild pitch in the bottom half.
“We’ve got a lot of guys playing a lot of different positions, and they’re not comfortable yet,” Riley said. “That will take time, but we had too many errors, and that just can’t happen.”
The hits and errors really piled up in the top of the sixth as Chariton added five more runs to put the Cardinals in mercy rule territory. The Chargers seemed to find every gap on the field with their three extra-hit bases in the inning, while Newton couldn’t make the routine plays to get out of the inning.
Although the night was a rough one overall, Newton senior Taylor Field ended the night on something of a postitive note when he connected with his second home run in as many games to cap a perfect 3-for-3 night at the plate.
After Newton’s strong start in Marshalltown, the past two games have dealt difficult losses for the Cards. It may be tough to swallow at times, but the early part of the season usually causes growing pains, and it will be up to the team to see how it responds from them.
“If we start doing this in conference play, then we’ll have to make some drastic changes,” Riley said. “Our kids are still learning and developing some skills, but they’re getting there. Our seniors seem to be doing OK, but we have sophomores in the infield and outfield. All nine guys need to be on the same page, and we’re not.”
Chariton 19, Newton 8 (6 innings)
1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
C — 5 0 4 1 4 5 — 19 12 1
N — 0 3 1 2 1 1 — 8 9 5