Junior Knights split with Hutch
The Newton Post 2 American Legion Junior Knights baseball team had a dominant performance in one game and too many walks in the second, leading to a split against the Hutchinson Salthawks Tuesday at Klein-Scott Field.
Newton won the first game 9-1 in five innings on the eight-run rule. Hutchinson won the second game 12-9 in a game called after six innings on a one-hour, 45-minute time limit.
Newton pitchers gave up 11 walks in the second game.
“The kids played very competitive in the second game,” Hutchinson manager Jim Preston said. “We got down, but to the kids’ credit, we came back and kept battling. They struggled a little throwing strikes, but we’ll take it.”
“It was the tale of two games,” Newton manager Mark George said. “In the first game, we did a phenomenal job of throwing strikes. We were pounding the zone and had some timely hitting, which helped us. They didn’t throw as many strike in that first game, which gave us an opportunity to run away with it. There were a handful of batters that had really good approaches in that first game, stung it when they needed to. Ian Baker had a good day at the plate in that first game. Parker Schultz had a couple of RBIs. We did a good job of running the bases. We brought together all three phases — we pitched it, we ran it and we hit it.”
Leading the first game 2-1 after two innings, Newton put the game away with six runs in the fourth inning and a run in the fifth.
Tyler Franz and Baker each had two hits and two RBIs for Newton. Blaze Bradshaw and Schultz each drove in a run.
Tyler Franz pitched four innings for the win, allowing a run on one hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Schultz pitched the fifth inning, allowing a hit, a walk and a strikeout.
Lakin Franz took the loss for Hutchinson, allowing three earned runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Aiden Whitsitt finished the game.
Jack Yoder had the sole RBI for Hutchinson.
In the second game, Newton led 3-2 after three innings. After a three-run inning for Hutchinson in the fourth, Newton regained the lead with five runs in the bottom of the fourth.
A pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning got Hutchinson back within a run. The Salthawks loaded the bases in the top of the sixth on a single and two walks. Two more walks drove in two runs. Three runs scored on wild pitches.
Newton also loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth. After a pop out in foul territory, Grayson Ybarra drove in a run on a ground out. another ground out ended the game.
Jax Heneha went two for three hitting with two RBIs. Lakin Franz, Carter Morgan, James Jordan and Yoder each drove in a run.
Ybarra finished with two RBIs for Newton. Owen Myers went two for three with an RBI. Mike Seirer went two for four with an RBI. Schultz, Austin Aarons and Tyler Franz each drove in a run.
Bentley Eckhoff pitched 2.1 innings of relief for the win, striking out three and allowing no hits with two unearned runs. Keegan Rousseau took the loss for Newton.
“You can’t defend a walk and you can’t compound by allowing a free base with another walk, a wild pitch or a passed ball,” George said. “We found ourselves in situations with runners in scoring position about every inning. There were maybe one or two innings where we got up and down and didn’t allow a guy to get on third base. We just gave them way too many opportunities and when we did, they took advantage of them.”
Hutchinson is 7-16 and plays next week at the Salina Hawks.
Newton is 6-10. After a pair of games scheduled for Wednesday at Andover, the Junior Knights host McPherson Monday and Andover Central Tuesday.
L.Franz (L), Whitsitt 4 and Heneha; T.Franz (W), Schultz 5 and Schultz, Baker 5. Time — 1:31.
Parks, Echkoff (W) 4 and L.Franz; Myers, Mueller 4, Rousseau (L) 6, Aarons 6 and Schultz. Time — 2:12.
Mark Schnabel can be reached at email@example.com