NEWTON — Timely hitting came and went for Newton’s Cardinals in Saturday’s Cardinal Classic.
The host team connected for 10 hits, driving in 12 runs in a 12-2 run-rule, six-inning win over Colfax-Mingo’s Tigerhawks in the opener. They broke open the game in the third inning, taking advantage of Tigerhawk errors and four hits to plate five runs.
But in the championship contest, the Cardinals left runners on base and had six hits, all singles. Ottumwa’s Chase Wood scattered those six hits over seven innings as the Bulldogs shut out the Cardinals, 7-0, to take the 2014 Cardinal Classic title.
Colfax-Mingo didn’t have much better luck in the consolation contest. The Tigerhawks were held to one hit in a five-inning, run-rule 10-0 loss to Chariton’s Chargers. Adam Teed singled in the top of the fifth for Colfax-Mingo. Jacob Buehrer took the pitching loss, giving up eight hits, walking five and striking out four.
Colfax-Mingo took advantage of two Newton errors in the first inning of the Classic opener.
The Tigerhawks scored a run when Colton Harmison found himself at second after two errors on his hit to shortstop. A sacrifice bunt by Jimmy Camp moved Harmison to third. Nate Smith drew a walk then Jacob Buehrer’s single drove in the run.
Newton starter Mike McCormick struck out James Stoecker. The inning ended when Newton catcher Evan Shimon threw out Smith trying to steal third base with Michael Barr applying the tag.
“I just trust my defense to do the job. I just wanted to go out and throw strikes, pound the zone and make them hit it,” McCormick said of his performance. “We’ve been playing together for a long time and I know what these guys are capable of.”
The Cardinals began their first at bat with a bunt single by Bryce Tish. Chandler Sturtz laid down a bunt and reach on an error, which allowed Tish to reach home with the tying run. Sturtz ended up at third base and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shimon.
Newton used the third inning to take complete control of the contest. Shimon reached on a Tigerhawk error and Connor Gholson went in as a courtesy runner. Gholson stole second and went to third on a single by Derek Wrage.
Jordan Travis drew a walk. Tyler Wood delivered a two-run double to center field. Travis was tagged out at home with a throw to Tigerhawk catcher Jacob Buehrer. Barr doubled to drive in Wood followed by McCormick reaching on an error.
Stanton’s single yielded another run for Newton. Tish reached on a fielder’s choice and error which allowed McCormick to score.
Newton added a run in the fourth with a leadoff home run by Shimon over the left field fence. It was his first homer of the season. He said he has hit one home run in each of his high school years.
“That was cool,” McCormick said. “It’s always fun to see someone hit a home run.”
Colfax-Mingo’s Camp and Smith had back-to-back singles to open up the fifth inning. Buehrer hit into a double play as McCormick threw to Wood at second who made the throw to Wrage at first base. Camp scored on a wild pitch.
The Cardinals responded with two runs in their half of the fifth. McCormick walked and Stanton reached on an error. Tish and Sturtz had back-to-back sacrifice fly balls to drive in runs.
With one gone in the sixth, Barr doubled to left field and McCormick walked. Tish came through with a two-out single to right field that produced two runs to end the game.
McCormick and Colfax-Mingo’s Juan Gonzalez went the distance for their respective teams. McCormick got the win, holding the Tigerhawks to five hits, walked five and struck out three. Gonzalez gave up 10 hits, walked five and struck out in a losing effort.
Colfax-Mingo got two singles apiece from Buehrer and Smith. Camp singled. The Tigerhawks host Greene County in Heart of Iowa Conference play tonight.
Shimon hit a single and a home run and Barr hit two doubles. Tish and Wrage each had two singles. Wood and Stanton each had a single.
“We were the better team in this game. After the first inning, we had a higher level of focus,” Shimon said. “We were ready to get back on track today. We want to perform well in our own tournament and we wanted to be playing for the championship.”
In the championship game, Newton got runners on base in several innings but could not string together hits to drive in runs. The Cardinals hit into two double plays, including the one that ended the game in the seventh.
Ottumwa made the most of miscommunication of bunts by the Newton defense in the second inning. The Bulldogs scored five runs to boost their lead to 6-0.
Wrage started on the mound for Newton, going two innings. He was charged with six runs on eight hits and one walk.
Travis, who made a diving catch in right field in the first inning, came on in relief. Travis threw three 1-2-3 innings before giving up a run in the sixth inning. Travis allowed three hits, walked one and struck out one.
Stanton hit two singles in the title game for Newton. Shimon, Barr, Travis and Tish each had a single.
Newton is 7-13 overall. The Cardinals travel to Pella Christian tonight, taking a 5-7 mark into the Little Hawkeye Conference game.