Rebels claim first win of season
In Monday’s match-up against the Great Bend Bat Cats in Sunflower Collegiate League play at Klein-Scott Field, the Newton Rebels looked like it was headed for the same fate as in the first five games.
Walks and errors allowed the Bat Cats to take a 4-0 lead, but the Rebels scored the next six runs and held on for an 8-6 win, the first of the season for the Rebels.
“We had to win one,” Rebels field manager Brett Clark said. “You get one under your belt and things are going to change around here. We did really well at the dish. That’s something we didn’t do in the first five games. The pitchers came in and did their job.”
Eli Hickman and Aidan Corrigan each went two for three hitting for Newton. Trey Winget went two for four. Cory Mason drove in three runs.
Hickman had an RBI and a key put out on a throw from right field to second base.
“We knew we could hit a little bit,” Hickman said. “Last week, we were down six, but came back to tie it. We knew we had the ability to hit off anybody. Coach Clark, after last week’s series, told us to come out and have some fun. If you have fun, you have the ability to compete. If you compete, you win games.”
Hickman comes to the Rebels from Rensselaer, Ind. He is a freshman at Concordia Chicago, an NCAA Division III school.
“My coach, Kollin Conner, has some connections with Brett Clark and sends a couple of guys down here every year or two,” Hickman said. “It’s great. It’s really a lot like back home. I’m from a small town of about 5,000 people. Coming here is like a second home. My host family is great — Michelle and Brent Coffman.”
Walks, a pair of hits and an error allowed Great Bend to take a 4-0 lead. Newton came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning and two more in the third.
The teams traded runs in the fifth through seventh innings, keeping the Rebels up by two runs.
Carson Frazier struck out the side in the top of the ninth for the save.
“My slider was working well against the lefties, but I was pounding the fastball because they had a lot of late swings,” Frazier said. “I recognized that and stuck with it. It feels good. This is good group of guys. We had a chance to get a couple under our belts, but it feels good to win this one. … It’s big for the momentum. It keeps the guys fired up.”
From Temecula, Calif., Frazier is a sophomore at Cypress Community College.
“The coach I grew up playing with is Clark’s brother, so that’s how I got here,” Frazier said. “I just want to stay consistent on the mound and keep throwing those zeros. I was here last year, so I know what to expect from these guys. You have to be confident in your stuff.”
Newton starter Carson Jacobs went 4.2 innings, walking eight and striking out seven. Spencer Maley went 2.1 innings for the win, striking out one. Zach Gillig pitched the eight inning, striking out one.
Zane Spinn went two for four hitting for Great Bend with two RBIs. Brett Freiberg also drove in two runs. Jett Forrest went three for four with an RBI.
Gyeongju Kim took the loss for Great Bend, walking one and striking out eight. Diego Escobedo struck out three.
The series continues Tuesday and Saturday at Al Burns Park in Great Bend, and Wednesday and Friday at Klein-Scott Field.
TUESDAY’S GAME — The Rebels spotted Great Bend a 5-1 lead after two innings Tuesday in Great Bend, falling 7-3.
Newton outhit the Bat Cats 9-8. Each team had three errors.
Newton got back in the game with a pair of runs in the seventh inning, but Great Bend put things away with two runs in the eighth.
Andrew Enwiya drove in four runs for Great Bend, 6-1, hitting a three-run home run. Alex Rodgers went three for five hitting.
Zach Thornton threw five innings for the win, striking out nine. Kolby Parker walked one and struck out two in 1.1 innings for the save.
Nolan Riley went three for five hitting for Newton, driving in a run. Corrigan also drove in a run.
Jack Rector struck out six batters in six innings in the loss. Gillig struck out two in an inning.
The series continues Wednesday and Friday at Klein-Scott Field and Saturday at Al Burns Park in Great Bend.
Kim (L, 0-1), Escobedo 7 and Forrest; Jacobs, Maley (W, 1-0) 5, Gillig 8, Frazier (S, 1) 9 and Allen.
Rector (L, 0-1), Vergini 7, Gillig 8 and n/a; Thornton (W, 1-0), Thomas 6, Hendricks 7, Parker (S, 1) 8 and Torres.
Mark Schnabel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org