Junior Knights split despite errors

Mark Schnabel

The Newton Post 2 Junior Knights baseball team won its first game despite errors and couldn’t overcome errors in the second game, leading to a split against the Salina Hawks on Tuesday at Klein-Scott Field.

Newton won the first game 11-9 and lost the second game 5-2. The Knights had eight errors in the first game and six errors in the second. The first game was called after six innings on time limit.

“It wasn’t a very pretty display defensively,” Newton manager Mark George said. “It’s hard for me to explain what was going on with the guys. Obviously, there were some issues with fundamentals — guys fielding balls under their chins instead of in front of their face, guys not catching fly balls with two hands. And that cost us. We were very fortunate in that first game. In the second game, it didn’t give us much of a chance. It was a close game, and we were lucky to be in it. I think that’s a testament to our pitchers and their ability to pound the zone. In the first game, we hit the ball well. We were confident in our approaches. In the second game, I thought the Salina pitcher threw a good game. He threw two pitches for strikes. He was very deceptive in his delivery.”

“Overall, it was a pretty good game by both teams,” Salina manager Dalton Dooley said. “Newton came out swinging pretty well from the beginning. We did a good job of throwing strikes. We did a better job of getting runners on base and executing when we needed to in the second game. I was telling the guys, ‘Put the ball in play and good things will happen.’ And we did put the ball in play.”

In the first game, three Salina hits and three Newton errors led to a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.

Newton loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first. The Knights scored two runs on wild pitches and a third on a Luke Hirsh double.

Two errors and a walk allowed Salina to load the bases to lead off the third inning. Zach Davidson scored a run on a sacrifice fly. Trace Horniman drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.

Newton’s first five batters reached base in the bottom of the third. Nick Clayson singled and scored for Salina in the top of the fourth.

Newton added four more runs in the fourth inning.

With bases loaded and two outs in the top of the sixth, Salina scored on a balk, a two-run Jayton Mathis double and a Zach Redding single.

Schmidt finished 3-for-3 hitting for Newton with three runs and three RBIs. Luke Hirsh finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Drew Barron and Owen Mick each added two hits.

Joe Slechta went 5.2 innings for Newton for the win, striking out nine. Cade Valdez pitched the final out.

Zach Redding had two hits for Salina. Adrian Pounce took the loss.

Three errors in the top of the first led to a Salina run. Newton loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first. Hirsh was hit by a pitch to drive in a run.

Salina loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the second inning. Mathis grounded into a fielder’s choice to drive in the only run in the inning.

An error to lead off the top of the fifth inning led to a Salina run. Newton came back with an RBI single for Schmidt in the sixth inning.

A pair of errors in the top of the seventh led to two more Salina runs.

Schmidt went 2-for-3 hitting. Mathis and Nick Schultz each drove in two runs for Salina.

Jarrett Pittenger threw 5.1 innings for the win, striking out six. Clayson finished the game for the save.

Barron struck out six in 6.1 innings in the loss. Schmidt pitched the last two outs.

Newton is 6-4 and plays July 7 at Buhler. Salina is 10-10 and plays Junction City.

NOTE — Newton’s games scheduled for Monday at El Dorado were canceled.

First game


Mathis ss;4;2;1;2

Redding lf;4;2;2;1

Bolen eh;3;1;1;1

Davidson 1b;2;0;1;1

Horniman 2b;3;0;1;1

Scoville rf;2;0;0;0

Pittenger ph;1;0;1;0

Clayson cf;3;1;1;0

Pounce dh;2;0;0;0

Jones p;1;1;0;0

Cooper 3b;1;0;0;0

Schultz ph;0;1;0;0

McDowell c;2;0;0;0

Gary ph;0;0;0;0



Valdez p;3;1;0;0

Barron lf;2;3;2;1

Mick 2b;3;3;2;1

Schmidt 3b;3;3;3;3

Hirsh cf;3;1;2;2

Ruggerio c;2;0;1;1

Schultz 1b;3;0;0;1

Slechta ss;3;0;0;0

Klug rf;2;0;0;0

Livesay eh;2;0;0;0




E — Slechta 2, Ruggerio, Hirsh, Schmidt, Valdez, Clayson, Mathis, Mick 2, Benoit. LOB — Sal. 6, New. 4. 2B — Hirsh, Schmidt 2, Mathis. SB — Bolen, Barron 2, Mick, Clayson, Schmidt, Hirsh 2. CS — Clayson. Sac. Fly — Davidson.


Pounce, L;2;7;7;7;3;2;



Slechta, W;5.2;6;8;3;2;9


Pounce faced five batters in the third inning.

WP — Pounce 2, Slechta 2. Balk — Valdez. HBP — Livesay (Jones), Schultz (Slechta). Time — 1:47.

Second game


Mathis ss;4;1;1;2

N.Schultz rf;2;0;0;2

Bolen c;4;0;1;0

Benoit 1b;2;0;1;1

Davidson eh;3;0;1;0

Pittenger lf;3;0;0;0

Gary 3b;3;1;1;0

Jones 2b;2;1;1;0

Clayson p;1;0;0;0

Redding cf;3;2;1;0



Valdez ss;1;0;0;0

Barron lf;2;0;1;0

Mick 2b;3;0;0;0

Schmidt p;3;0;2;1

Hirsh cf;2;0;1;1

Ruggerio rf;3;0;1;0

P.Schultz c;3;0;0;0

Gates 1b;3;0;0;0

Klug rf;3;0;0;0

Slechta 3b;0;2;0;0

Nash eh;2;0;0;0




E — Barron 2, Hirsh, Valdez, Rugerrio, Benoit, Schmidt. DP — Salina 2, Newton. LOB — Sal. 7, New. 5. SB — Klug, Hirsh Schmidt. CS — Gary. Sac. Bunt — Clayson. Sac. Fly — Benoit, N.Schultz.


Pittenger, W;5.1;5;2;2;2;6;0

Clayton, S;1.2;0;0;0;0;1


Barron, L;6.1;7;5;2;2;6


WP — Barron, Pittenger. HBP — Valdez (Pittenger), Hirsh (Pittenger), Clayson (Barron) Barron (Pittenger). Time — 1:49.