Cardinals outlast Panthers in LHC contest

KNOXVILLE — Two misplayed ground balls and a walk issued by Jordan Travis had Newton’s Cardinals in a precarious spot in Monday’s Little Hawkeye Conference game against host Knoxville. They faced a two-out, bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the seventh, leading by two runs.

Travis faced Knoxville’s Calyn Bumgardner. On a 3-2 pitch, Travis struck out Bumgardner, earning the save as the Cardinals escaped with a 6-4 decision over the Panthers.

Derek Wrage notched the win as the Cardinal starter. Wrage pitched two innings, allowed two runs on two hits. Wrage also hit two singles and his ground-out in the seventh inning drove in a run.

Senior catcher Evan Shimon was strong behind the plate and at the plate for the Cardinals. Shimon went 3-for-4 with two base hits and a double and drove in a run. Shimon had a pivotal defensive play in the sixth inning.

The Panthers had plated two runs to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 5-4. D.J. Snyder represented the tying run at first and there was only one out. Shimon threw out Snyder attempting to steal second then Michael Barr got Jared McClung to popup to Mike McCormick at second.

Shimon led off the top of the seventh with a double and McCormick reached on a dropped third strike with one gone. Connor Gholson, who was the courtesy runner for Shimon, ended up at third on the play. Wrage’s ground-out produced a run.

The Cardinals had a four-run first inning with an RBI triple by Barr and an RBI single by Shimon. A Knoxville error allowed two runs to score. Knoxville scored two runs in its half of the first.

Newton loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth and came away with one run. The Cardinals had a 5-2 lead.

Tyler Wood pitched two innings of scoreless baseball for Newton, walking two and striking out two. Barr pitched the fifth and sixth innings, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks. Travis issued a walk and had a strikeout in his seventh-inning duty on the mound.

Barr connected for a triple and a single. Hitting a single each were McCormick, Travis, Wood and Chandler Sturtz.

Newton improved to 4-4 on the season and 3-1 in Little Hawkeye Conference play. The Cardinals are at Dallas Center-Grimes in a LHC doubleheader Wednesday, starting at 5:30 p.m.