SALINA — With any young team, there's going to be growing pains during the course of a season.
Salina Central, which has just three seniors on its roster, had a few of those Friday night against Newton, but still managed to sweep an AV-CTL I doubleheader at Dean Evans Stadium.
Dylan Dominguez's bases-clearing double sparked a 6-3 win in the first game and the Mustangs scored six runs in the first three innings of the second game to grab a 7-4 victory and improve to 7-5 overall and 3-5 in the league.
The visiting Railers, who dropped to 1-14 and 1-9, applied a defensive shift much of the twinbill, placing three infielders on the left side of the infield. Central had nine hits in the first game, but managed just five in the second.
The Mustangs were helped by eight walks and three hit-batsmen from Newton pitching and scored on a passed ball and wild pitch in the second game.
Central sent five pitchers to the mound in the two games and also had eight walks and hit three batters. Newton scored two of its runs in the first game on a wild pitch and passed ball.
In the first game, the Mustangs got all the runs they needed in the bottom of the third inning. Ben Driver and Dakota Hogan both walked with one out and Brogen Richardson followed with a run-scoring single. Jake Eisenhauer loaded the bases with a single and Central scored its second run when Caden Kickhaefer was hit by a pitch. Richardson was then forced at home for the second out before Dominguez ripped a double to right-center to clear the bases and give the Mustangs a 5-1 lead.
Dominguez is one of the three seniors on the Central roster, but is playing his first season with the Mustangs after transferring from a high school in Kentucky. He added a fourth RBI in the first game with a single in the fifth inning.
Kickhaefer picked up the victory, pitching the first four innings before Driver finished with the last three.
Newton scored first again in the second game before the Mustangs scored three times in the first inning and three more times in the third.
In the bottom of the first, Hogan singled with one out and came home on a double to left-center by Richardson. The Mustangs were then helped by two walks, an error, a wild pitch and passed ball. Richardson scored on the passed ball and Kickhaefer on a wild pitch to give Central a 3-1 lead.
The Mustangs made it a 6-2 game in the bottom of the third. Eisenhauer was hit by a pitch with one out, Jaxon Kolzow singled to right with two out and Dominguez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Logan Heigele walked to force in a run and Kade Cyre followed with a double down the right field line to score two more.
The Mustangs got a scare in the top of the sixth when Richardson, who had relieved starter Jackson Kavanagh the inning before, collided with Eisenhauer, the catcher, while making a sparkling diving catch on a foul ball near the Newton dugout. Richardson was tended to on the field before limping off and being replaced on the mound by Hogan.
Freshman shortstop Jaxon Kolzow reached base five times in the two games and had three hits. Hogan, Richardson, Eisenhauer and Dominguez each had two. Kavanagh picked up the victory.
Newton plays Tuesday at Maize.
Fenwick (L) and Seirer. Kickhaefer (W), Driver (S) 5 and Eisenhauer.
Cusick (L), Lujano 3, Jaso 4 and Seirer. Kavanagh (W), Richardson 5, Hogan (S) 6 and Eisenhauer.