NEWTON — Late innings were good and bad to Newton’s Cardinals Wednesday in a home Little Hawkeye Conference doubleheader against Knoxville’s Panthers.
The first game was cruising along for the teams. It was scoreless through five innings then all heck broke out. The Panthers scored four runs in the sixth and four in the seventh while holding the Cardinals to one run.
Smarting from the 8-1 loss, the Cardinals came right back to rally in the later innings of the second game for a 5-3 win.
Newton scored single runs in the first and second innings to lead 2-0. Knoxville knotted the game up at 2-all in the third.
With one gone in the fourth, Mike McCormick and Jeff Stanton showed patience at the plate and worked back-to-back walks for the Cardinals. Bryce Tish singled to load the bases. Chandler Sturtz’s fielder’s choice pushed the go-ahead run across the plate.
The Panthers scratched out another tying run in the fifth. Newton answered quickly in its half of the inning.
Jordan Travis delivered a one-out triple and scored on an error. Tyler Wood singled and stole second base. McCormick connected with two gone for an RBI single.
Travis came on in relief of Newton starter Derek Wrage and pitched two shutout innings. He struck out one and did not give up a hit. Wrage went five innings on the mound. He was charged with three runs on six hits and two walks, plus he struck out two.
Wood had two singles in the game and Travis tripled. Hitting a single each were Tish, Sturtz, McCormick an Stanton.
Tish scored the first run of the game in the first inning. He led off with a base-on-balls followed by a single from Sturtz and a sacrifice by Evan Shimon. Wrage grounded out to drive in Tish.
In the the second frame, Wood singled and scored on a two-out base hit by Stanton.
The Cardinals stranded eight base runners in the opener against the Panthers. Their only run came in sixth.
Wrage drew a one-out walk and Travis doubled to right field. Wood’s base hit drove in Wrage. The only other hits in the game for Newton were another single by Wood and a base hit by Michael Barr.
Wood took the pitching loss. He went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks, and had five strikeouts. Barr pitched one inning, allowed four runs on five hits and one walk.
Newton is 7-8 in Little Hawkeye Conference play and 9-14 overall. The Cardinals host Dallas Center-Grimes Friday at Woodland Park. They go to Grinnell on Monday.