Senior Knights claim sweep of Hutchinson
The Newton Post 2 American Legion Senior Knights baseball team didn’t get a lot of hits against the Hutchinson Salthawks Wednesday night at Klein-Scott Field, but the Knights were able to move runners to score runs.
Newton won the first game 11-2 and the second game 10-0 in five innings on the 10-run rule.
“We did a good job of manufacturing runs without a lot of hits,” Newton manager Evan Gilbert said. “We put guys in movement. The timely hits are what we were aiming for. It was good to take care of business at home. We had really good energy today.”
It was the Knight’s second-straight doubleheader sweep.
Hutchinson was hampered by 17 walks allowed and 10 errors in 12 innings of play.
“I thought at times, we competed well,” Hutchinson manager Jim Preston said. “We have to get better at making routine plays. We didn’t do a very good job of that. In the first game, if we throw strikes and make some routine plays, we get some hits, we’d be right there.”
Newton jumped out 5-1 after three inning. Hutchinson got back in the game with a run in the top of the fifth.
Ryan Ruggerio put the game out of reach for the Knights with a grand slam with one out in the bottom of the fifth to cap a six-run inning.
“That was my first,” Ruggerio said. “It was 2-0. I knew he was not trying to get to 3-0. He threw me a strike and I was looking for it. It was middle in, at the knees. I turned on it. They gave us a lot of free bases and we had good jumps on the base paths. We had timely hits. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum into the weekend.”
Andrew Barron went two for four hitting for Newton with an RBI, the only player with more than one hit in the game.
Jake Schmidt pitched three innings of relief for the win, striking out five. Starter Ian Akers struck out four in two innings. Luke Hirsh pitched the final two innings of the game.
Bobby Garland took the loss for Hutchinson.
Griff Davis opened the scoring in the second game with a two-run double with no outs in the first inning. Andrew Barron followed with a triple to score Davis.
Newton added four runs in the fourth inning and three runs in the fifth, aided by errors and wild pitches.
Davis pitched three innings for the win, allowing two walks and three strikeouts. Cade Valdez finished the game, allowing two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Mikah Giles took the loss for the Salthawks.
Barron finished three for four hitting with three RBIs.
Newton is 6-7 and plays this weekend at the Hooper Classic in McPherson and Buhler. Newton plays the Topeka Scrappers at 11 a.m. Friday at the Grant Complex in McPherson and the Buhler Nationals at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Wheatland Park in Buhler.
Bracket play opens Saturday.
“The Scrappers I believe are Topeka Seaman kids,” Gilbert said. “Then we get Buhler. We haven’t seen Buhler yet this summer, but they are usually pretty good. We’re going to have two good games on Friday, so we’re going to have to be ready to play.”
Hutchinson is 5-14 and plays Friday at Junction City.
Garland (L), Morales 3, Giles 6 and L.Franz; Akers, J.Schmidt (W) 3, Hirsh 5 and Ruggerio. HR — N: Ruggerio. Time — 2:05.
Giles (L), L.Franz 2, Morgan 4, Cunningham 4, Whitsitt 5 and Heneha; Davis (W), Valdez 4 and Ruggerio. — 1:55.
Kansas American Legion Baseball
(Top two teams to state, except Zone 1)
ZONE 1 at Topeka — Doniphan County, Hiawatha, Marysville, Salina Hawks (State Host), Seneca, Topeka.
ZONE 3 & 4 at Chanute — Chanute, Garnett, Iola, Ottawa, Overbrook, Pittsburg.
ZONE 5 & 6 at Clay Center — Clay Center, Hays 17U, Junction City, McPherson 15U, Salina Eagles.
ZONE 7 & 8 at McPherson — Andover, Andover Central, Hays 15U, McPherson 16U, Newton, Winfield.
(Top team to state)
ZONE 1 at Sabetha — Corning, Doniphan County, Hiawatha, Marysville, Sabetha, Seneca.
ZONE 2 at Iola — Iola, Marmaton Valley, Mulvane, Silver Lake, Wamego.
ZONE 3 at Beloit — Beloit, Clifton-Clyde, Norton, Republic County, Smith Center, Sylvan Grove.
ZONE 4 at Hoisington — Ellinwood, Goodland, Hoisington, Larned, Ness City, Otis-Bison.
(Top team to state)
ZONE 1 at Topeka — Leavenworth, Salina, Topeka.
ZONE 2 at Emporia — Emporia, Ottawa, Pittsburg (AAA-AA State Host).
ZONE 3 at Great Bend — Great Bend, Hays, Newton.
Mark Schnabel can be reached at email@example.com