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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Junior Knights sweep Clearwater

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  • The Newton Junior Knights are off to a 6-0 start after a pair of run-rule wins Thursday at Klein-Scott Field against the Clearwater Indians. The Knights won the first game 10-2 in five innings on the eight-run rule and the second game 18-0 in four innings on the 10-rule rule. In the first game, Garrett Davis went the distance for the Junior Knights, allowing two runs on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts. In the second game, Cole Koerner went three innings, allowing four hits, a walk and two strikeouts. "We needed to adjust approach-wise," Newton manager Mark George said of the first game. "The first game, the guy they threw kept pounding the zone. He didn't mix in two pitches for strikes, but he had us out in front a little bit. Eventually, we started doing a better job of attacking the ball earlier in counts. It started to pay off. They kicked a couple balls that allowed us to extend some innings and do some things. "Right now, we're able to swipe bags at will. That's been predicated on the competition. We kept ourselves out of double-play situations. We're using our athleticism to our advantage. The tone was set by our pitching staff. Garrett Davis threw well. He had a couple of stressful innings, but he regained his composure and kept good mechanics. He threw two pitches for strikes. He pitched against them last week, and they couldn't touch his breaking ball. They made some adjustments. We stayed fastball tonight with Garrett. (Koerner) did an excellent job of coming in. He didn't throw two pitches for strikes, but he commanded the zone with his fast ball. They were late on him, which made for easy plays in the infield and the outfield." In the first game, Clearwater scored two runs on three hits in the top of the first inning. Those were the only runs the Indians were allowed the rest of the night. Drake Sturgeon hit a two-run single in the bottom of the first. Kyler Sweeny hit a sacrifice fly for Newton in the bottom of the third. Davis hit an RBI double in the fourth. The wheels came off for Clearwater in the bottom of the fifth, as Newton scored six runs on four hits. Brennan Barger and Davis each finished two for three hitting. Cody Lill took the loss for Clearwater. In the second game, Newton batted around in every inning. The Knights scored eight runs in the first, four in the second and six in the third. Newton stopped running and was playing station-to-station baseball in the third inning. Barger finished two for two hitting with two RBIs. Davis was two for three with three RBIs. Drake Sturgeon and Chazz Martinez each had two RBIs for the night. Clearwater left the bases loaded in both the first and fourth innings. Newton's Freddie Loeffler pitched the fourth inning, allowing a hit and two walks. Tyler Frost started and lost the second game. "Our outfield did a good job tonight tracking balls and gaining a lot of confidence," George said. "Some younger guys got an opportunity tonight. Our infield had a couple of rough patches. At Klein-Scott, you need to attack ground balls and not wait on them more so than somewhere else. We had some hitters square some balls up. The bottom part of the order for us is really stepping up and driving balls to all fields. We're getting key hits in opportune times." Tuesday, Newton claimed a pair of wins at Emporia on the road 8-0 and 18-10, both in five innings. Saturday at Clearwater, Newton won 12-2 and 14-1. Newton hosts Andover Central at 6 p.m. Monday for a doubleheader. "All of these guys were JV players last spring," George said. "We have a handful of C teamers. They're real young. Most of these guys did play Junior Legion last year, so they do have experience. Andover Central should be a really good test for us. While we've done a good job with this part of the schedule, the schedule is going to get tougher for us. It's important for us to have high expectations, it's also important to stay humble."
    Page 2 of 2 - First game
    Clear. 200 00 —2 3 3 Newton 210 16 —10 9 2
    Lill (L), Carter 5 and Frost; Davis (W) and C.Sturgeon. Time — 1:35. Second game
    Clear. 000 0 —0 4 3 Newton 846 x —18 10 0
    Frost (L), Sipp 1, Witt 2 and Daniels, Patterson 3; Koerner (W), Loeffler 4 and C.Sturgeon, Sweely 3. Time — 1:35.
     
     

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