The Newton baseball team took the field on Friday against the Grinnell Tigers with hopes of repeating its performance from early June.
Back on June 12, the Cardinals invaded Grinnell territory in search of a win, and they got much more than that. In the midst of a rough skid offensively, Newton busted out the aluminum slugging its way to a 14-3 victory over the Tigers.
So when the Tigers made their way to Woodland Park on Friday afternoon for a doubleheader, the Cardinal hitters had to be licking their chops.
The Cards were victorious in Game One, putting together an 8-5 victory highlighted by a big five-run fifth inning. However, the Cards were unable to keep the Tigers at-bay in Game Two, a 13-5 loss.
In Game One, Newton got on top early. The Cards were able to push one run across in the first inning on an RBI single by Jacob Hill that put Newton up 1-0 after one inning.
That lead would be short-lived due to three Tiger runs in the top of the second. A double followed by back-to-back Grinnell home runs put the Tigers on top 3-1.
Newton pushed another run across in the bottom of the second. Jeff Stanton singled to score junior Derek Wrage, who had walked earlier in the inning.
The Cards proceeded to tie the game in the bottom of the third when Hill hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring senior Taylor Field.
Grinnell reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth on a two-run double
The score would hold at 5-3 until the bottom of the fifth inning.
Junior Chandler Sturtz singled to lead things off for Newton. Field singled to put two runners on. Then sophomore Tyler Wood made it three straight singles with his ground ball to left field that scored Sturtz. A single by Hill scored Wood and Field to put Newton on top for the first time since the very first frame.
Evan Shimon capped off the Cardinal scoring with a two-run blast over the left field fence, and the score would hold at 8-5 until the final out was recorded.
Michael Barr started and recorded the victory for Newton. He allowed five earned runs and 11 hits over six innings of work. He was relieved by Wrage, who was perfect in the final frame to shut the door.
Hill and Field tied for the team lead with two hits each. Hill had three of the seven RBI for Newton. Sturtz was 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Stanton had one hit in two at-bats with an RBI
Game Two was a turn of events for both teams. The Cardinals stayed hot and got out to a quick 5-3 lead, looking like they might end things early. But a steady rally by the Tigers allowed them to eclipse the Newton lead, and eventually their constant barrage of hits was too much for the home team to handle. Grinnell won, 13-5.
Grinnell struck early with a three-run rally in the first. With two outs, two doubles and an unfortunate error put Grinnell on top 3-0 after half of an inning.
Newton bounced back with another five-run rally in the bottom of the inning. Sturtz led off with a liner to center field. Field singled to put two runners on, and Wood got on with a bunt single. An error on Wood’s bunt allowed Sturtz to come home. With Hill at the plate, a passed ball allowed Field to come home. Hill then singled to score Wood and tie the game. Mike McCormick kept the rally going with a single. Barr hit a sacrifice fly with one out to put Newton on top 4-3. A single by Stanton brought across the fifth run of the inning for Newton.
The Cards weren’t able to stay on top for long, though. The Tigers got a couple breaks on Newton errors in the bottom of the second, and they were able to piece together enough hits to make Newton pay for its mistake. After the top of the second, it was 7-5 Tigers.
Newton went quietly in the bottom of the second, and Grinnell got a two-run homer in the top of the third to go up 9-5. More Cardinal miscues allowed two more Tiger runs to score the next inning, and Grinnell would continue to pile on in the end.
Errors were certainly the story of the second game for Newton, who had eight in all, allowing nine unearned runs to score. It’s not a sure thing that a clean game by Newton defensively would have led to a win, but it’s hard to argue that it would not have at least helped.
Jacob Marter took the loss for Newton, allowing seven runs (one earned) in his two innings of work.
Field went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Levi Michener had the Cards only extra-base hit with a double. Hill was 1-for-4 with an RBI. Stanton had an RBI on a single in three at-bats.
Sports writer Dustin Turner may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 440, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.