NEWTON — Five-run innings boosted Newton’s baseball Cardinals to a sweep of Friday’s Little Hawkeye Conference doubleheader against the visiting Pella Christian Eagles.
In the opener, the Cardinals scored five runs in the first inning on their way to a 10-0 victory in five innings. Newton trailed Pella Christian 4-2 through five innings in the night cap. The Cardinals produced five runs in the sixth to win 7-4.
The wins put the Cardinals at 2-1 in conference play and 3-4 overall. They head to Knoxville tonight in Little Hawkeye Conference action.
Newton’s hitters established the tone of the first game quickly. They peppered Pella Christian pitching for 13 hits.
Tyler Wood belted a one-out double to center field and moved to third on a passed ball in the first inning. Michael Barr singled in a run and then scored on a double by Evan Shimon. Shimon ended up at third on the play. Jordan Travis, Mike McCormick and Derek Wrage each had a single in the inning.
Wood scored again in the second inning after drawing a walk with one gone. Barr singled. Wood came across the plate on a passed ball.
The Cardinals continued to hit the pitches of Pella Christian starter Dillon Branderhorst. They scored three more runs in the third inning to build a 9-0 lead.
Wood kept the Eagles at bay at the plate. He pitched four innings of two-hit, shutout baseball. Wood struck out five batters. Barr pitching around a walk and an error in the fifth inning. He coaxed a pop-up in foul territory out of Grant Fynaardt which was caught by Shimon near the plate. Barr struck out the next two Eagles.
Newton needed one run in the bottom of the fifth to end the game on a run-rule. Wrage reached on an error and Jake Bennett went in to run for Wrage. Jeff Stanton walked and Blake Anderson singled. Wood delivered a bases-loaded single to center field to drive in Bennett to win the game.
Wood had a single and a double while McCormick and Barr each had two singles. Chandler Sturtz and Shimon each had a double. Hitting a single apiece were Anderson, Bryce Tish, Travis, Stanton and Wrage.
Branderhorst pitched 2 1/3 innings for the Eagles, charged with nine runs on 11 hits and one walk. He struck out two. Nate Haveman pitched two innings, giving up one run on two hits and one walk and striking out one batter.
Josh Rolffs doubled for the Eagles. Coltin Collins singled.
Pella Christian scored two runs in the second inning of the second game. Newton answered with one run in its half of the inning. Newton tied the game with a run in the fourth, but the Eagles took advantage of a passed ball and an error by the Cardinals to score two runs in the fifth.
Down 4-2, Newton rallied in the sixth. With one gone, McCormick was hit by a pitch followed by Wrage connecting for a base hit. Stanton kept things going with a single and Duncan Lee’s base hit to right field chased home a run.
Sturtz reached on an error and two runs scored to tie put the Cardinals in front. Wood’s single to left drove in a run and Lee scored on an error. When the dust settled. Newton led 7-4.
Travis and the Cardinals retired the Eagles in order in the seventh for the victory. Travis, who came on in relief of Wrage in the fifth, worked three innings and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. Wrage worked four innings, allowed two runs on three hits and two walks. Each Newton pitcher recorded three strikeouts.
Stanton was 3-for-3 on three singles for Newton. Shimon hit a double and a single and Wrage had two singles. Hitting a single each were Wood, Barr, McCormick and Lee.
Pella Christian’s Clay Stravers pitched 5 1/3 innings, charged with five runs on eight hits and one walk. Andrew VanderHart pitched in the sixth, gave up two runs on three hits.
Jaden Rolffs hit a double and a triple for the Eagles. VanderHart doubled. Kade VanderMolen, Fynaardt and Collins each had a single.