Newton, Hutch split pitchers' duels

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton senior Ben Schmidt makes throw to first for a putout during play Friday against Hutchinson. Schmidt pitched for the win in the second game of the doubleheader.
Newton senior pitcher Griffin Davis makes a pickoff throw during play Friday against Hutchinson. Newton split the twinbill.
Newton freshman Justin Zerger lays out to try and reach a foul ball during play Friday at Klein-Scott Field.
Hutchinson players Carter Booe (37), Nolyn Cunningham (2) and Kahler Dixon (26) chase down a fly ball during play Friday at Newton. The Salt Hawks split against the Railers.
Hutchinson senior Bennett Turner pitched 6.2 innings Friday to get the win in a 2-1 Salt Hawk win over Newton.
Hutchinson sophomore Bradyn Rodriguez awaits a pitch during play Friday at Newton.

The Newton Railer and Hutchinson Salt Hawk baseball teams have been on very similar paths this spring when they met in an Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I doubleheader Friday at Klein-Scott Field.

The two teams split a pair of pitcher’s duels. Hutchinson won the first game 2-1. Newton won the nightcap 4-0.

“It was another tough loss in that first game,” Newton coach Mark George said. “Griffin Davis pitched really well. He pitched really well his senior year. Cade (Valdez) came in and did a really nice job giving us a chance there late in the game. In the first game, we hit a lot of balls hard. We didn’t really do a good job of getting that opportunistic hit. We left quite a few runners on (9). I know for a fact, we left quite a few runners on in the second game (8). Over the last 30 innings, our pitching staff has given up just a handful of earned runs. It would be nice if our hitters would help and support our pitchers.”

“We played well,” Hutchinson coach Jim Preston said. “That was two very good high school teams playing. The second one was a 2-0 game. We hit one up the middle off the pitcher. The guy makes a nice play. If that gets through, it’s another story. Give Newton credit. Ben Schmidt threw a nice game today.”

Schmidt threw six shutout innings, allowing one hit, five walks and seven strikeouts. Justin Zerger finished off the game, allowing a walk with two strikeouts.

“Everything was working,” Schmidt said. “They would call a pitch and I could get it there and make them miss. It was important (to get the shutout). It was my last regular season home game. It means a lot to me to come out here and pitch one final time and make another memory here.”

Schmidt signed to play football at Dodge City Community College in the fall.

Zerger put the Railers ahead with an RBI single in the second inning. Owen Mick drove in a run with a single in the fourth inning.  Newton added a run on an error in the sixth inning. Mick drove in a run on a ground out.

Hutchinson loaded the bases in the top of the sixth with two outs, but a ground ball fielded by Joel Slechta and thrown to Trev Golubski ended the threat.

Hutchinson put two runners on base with one out in the top of the seventh. A strikeout and ground out ended the game.

“Joel Slechta made a really nice play with bases loaded and two outs,” George said. “Trev did a nice job on that last play with his footwork to get his foot on the bag, getting that last out of the game. … Owen Mick was an offensive hero for us today. There’s other guys who contributed greatly. All-in-all, it’s nice to see our guys bounce back in the second game.”

Carter Booe took the loss for Hutchinson, allowing two runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Bobby Garland pitched the last three innings.

Kinser Newquist broke up the no-hitter.

In the first game, Bennett Turner pitched 6.2 innings for the win, allowing one run on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Newquist pitched the final out for the save.

Griffin Davis took the loss, pitching five innings and allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Cade Valdez finished the game, allowing two hits with a strikeout.

Konner Jaso drove in a run for Newton in the bottom of the first inning. Newquist and Myles Thompson each had an RBI hit for Hutchinson in the top of the fifth inning.

Hutchinson ends the regular season 6-14, 3-9 in league play. The Salt Hawks open Class 6A regionals May 17 or 18.

“We could be as high as 11 or as low as 13,” Preston said of his team’s regional seeding. “We don’t play next week. We’ll take the weekend off and get at it next week. We’re looking forward to regional. We think we have a chance to do something.” 

Newton is 7-12, 4-7 in league play, and hosts Maize South at 4:30 p.m. Monday to finish a game suspended by rain. Newton trails 2-0 in the top of the fourth.

“We’re doing the things we need to do defensively to give ourselves a chance,” George said. “We’re already down two against (Maize South), but we have a really good chance to showcase how well we improved throughout the year. I would like to see us come out with a really good attitude and show something before we go into post season.” 

“We have four innings,” Schmidt said. “We want to count that as a game and play hard to get us ready for post season. We needed to hit with runners on. We left a lot of runners on base today. The fielding is there and the pitching is there. We just have to hit with runners on.”

First game

Hutchinson;000;020;0;—;2;7;1

Newton;100;000;0;—;1;9;2

Turner (W), Newquist (S) 7 and Elliott; Davis (L), Valdez 6 and Boston.

Second game

Hutchinson;000;000;0;—;0;1;2

Newton;010;102;x;—;4;5;0

Booe (L), Garland 4 and Dixon; Schmidt (W), Zerger (S) 7 and Boston.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com