Had the Newton Rebels not have scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 5-1 lead against the Topeka Golden Giants, Rebels manager Brad Salsman might have pulled starter Josh Markel for a closer. Instead, the Rebels offense made the decision to keep Markel out there easier, giving up one hit in the top of the ninth en route to a complete game win Wednesday at Klein-Scott Field in Walter Johnson League play. Newton improves to 6-0, 5-0 in league play. Topeka, the defending league champions, fall to 4-4, 2-3 in league play. "He didn't say a word. He just put me back out there," Markel said. "My fastball was going in and out, changing locations on them. Pitching is fun when you have defense like that behind you. They made me pay when the ball got up, so I just had to keep it low and make the defense work for me." Markel went 10 innings in the spring. He finished playing with Hutchinson Community College and will play for Central Missouri in the fall. Markel allowed a run on six hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Markel improves to 2-0. "We started so much better than last year," Markel said. "The returners are having so much fun. We have a lot of new guys who are really stepping up." Salsman said Markel finished with 100 pitches. "There was no question," Salsman said. "No question at all. (The runs in the eighth) were real big. I hit on that after the game. Good teams add on late regardless of what the score is. It's always a good sign to add on late. We've done a good job of that this season." A pair of Topeka errors led to a Rebel run in the first inning. Ryan Ihle hit an RBI single for Topeka in the top of the third to tie the game. With one out in the third inning, Chris Pinne walked, stole second and came home on a Cooper Langley single. Doubles by Mason Marshall and Toby Cornejo gave Newton a run in the fourth inning. Markel allowed just four baserunners total in the remainder of the game. Newton opened the eighth with leadoff singles by Langley and Grant Dunnegan. Langley scored on an error. Dunnegan came home on a Marshall single. "We've got six or seven guys who can turn a single into a double on the basepaths," Salsman said. "We can make six or seven hits pretty efficient. We can keep them busy stealing. We do a good job with dirt ball reads. We took advantage of moving up on balls in play." Marshall and Langley each finished the game three for four hitting. Brooks DeBord went two for three hitting for Topeka. Bryan Kloppe went six innings for Topeka, allowing two earned runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Ty Geary finished the game for the Golden Giants. Newton takes today off and plays five games in the following four days. Newton opens the road stand at 7 p.m. Friday against Park City at Newman University, followed by Hutchinson at 7 p.m. Saturday, Topeka at 2 p.m. Sunday and the Wichita Aviators at 7 p.m. Monday in a make-up game at Maize High School. "That was one of the reasons why there was no question in my mind about keeping (Markel) out there," Salsman said. "With his pitch count low, we could save arms for the weekend. It's on the road. We have Park City, Hutch and Topeka — all solid. We're doing a good job with our approach to every game. Just taking care of business."
Topeka ab r h bi Ek 2b 4 0 1 0 Ihle ss 4 0 1 1 Norfalise rf 4 0 0 0 Schmank 1b 4 0 1 0 McCrite dh 4 0 1 0 Hougland c 4 0 0 0 Hander 3b 4 0 0 0 DeBord lf 3 1 2 0 Crimmins cf 3 0 0 0 TOTALS 34 1 6 1 Newton ab r h bi Cornejo 2b 4 1 1 1 Coudret 2b 1 0 0 0 Quiles 3b 4 0 0 0 Pinne rf 3 1 0 0 Langley dh 4 1 3 1 Dunnegan 1b 4 1 2 2 Floyd ss 4 0 0 0 Marshall c 4 1 3 1 Ross lf 4 0 0 0 Harris cf 4 0 1 0 TOTALS 36 5 10 3
Topeka 001 000 000 —1 Newton 011 100 02x —5
E — Ek 2, Ihle, Cornejo. LOB — Top. 5, New. 8. 2B — McCrite, Marshall, Cornejo. SB — Pinne.
Topeka ip h r er bb k Klappe, L 6 6 3 2 1 2 Geary 2 4 2 2 0 1 Newton ip h r er bb k Markel, W 9 6 1 1 0 2
Time — 1:43.