After some missed offensive opportunities kept the Newton Rebels from a home sweep on Tuesday night, the team came out swinging on Wednesday in Salina.
Putting together one of its strongest early showings at the plate to open up the series with the Shock, Newton tallied eight runs on nine hits for an 8-0 victory, but fell late in the nightcap by a score of 2-1 to earn another split in the road doubleheader.
It was all Newton out of the gates as Isiah Perez and Stefan Aguilar drew back-to-back walks to lead off the top of the first inning. Jace Snodgrass then dropped a bunt single to load the bases, setting up Kyle Adkins for a two-RBI single. Jaylund Johnson then followed with an RBI groundout to give the visitors an early 3-0 lead.
Matt Contreras then set the tone for the Rebels on the mound, carrying over the strong pitching performances from the team's last outing as he struck out the first two Salina batters he faced and would give up two lone hits over the course of the ball game — a complete game shutout for Contreras.
Newton then struck again in the top of the fourth inning, as the team led things off once again with a walk, this time with Tyler Dunn drawing the free base. Rob Lain then reached on a fielder's choice and Brandon Hall and Hunter Martyniak followed with back-to-back singles.
With the bases loaded once again, it was Perez that came through this time with an RBI single and an error on the play allowed a second run to score. Aguilar followed with an RBI groundout before Snodgrass tacked on an RBI single of his own to push the Rebels' lead to 7-0.
Brandon Hall then tripled to lead off the sixth inning and Martyniak brought him in with an RBI groundout to give the Rebels their final 8-0 margin of victory.
Roles were reversed in game two, as the Rebels were limited to two hits by Salina pitcher Keenan Breen, who tossed a complete game for the Shock.
Despite the offense being held in check, Newton still managed to take another lead in the first inning as Perez led off with another walk and then stole second base. He then advanced to third on a groundout by Aguilar and came in to score on an RBI groundout from Snodgrass.
Salina answered back in the home half of the inning, though, getting a two-out RBI single from Landon Erway. Both teams then missed opportunities in the fourth inning as Snodgrass delivered a leadoff single but was left stranded at third, while the Shock left the bases load — with Newton pitcher Adkins recording a strikeout to end the threat.
Using a few more pitchers in game two, the battery of Lain, Courtland Cotton, Adkins, Dean Smyser and Noah Parsons held the Shock relatively in check before Trent Early led off the bottom of the seventh with a double. Earley then advanced on a sacrifice fly, while Brendan Madsen delivered the walk-off RBI single to give Salina the 2-1 victory and salvage the series split.
For the Rebels, the team will now have a day off before returning to action on the road at 7 p.m. Friday in a contest against the Hutchinson Monarchs.
Newton: 300 401 0 — 8 9 2
Salina: 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
P: Newton- Contreras and Adkins; Salina- Rieschick, Aranda and Garcia.
Newton: 100 000 0 — 1 2 0
Salina: 100 000 1 — 2 7 1
P: Newton- Lain, Cotton, Adkins, Smyser, Parsons and Johnson; Salina- Breen and Erway.