Senior Knights finish 3-1 at Grand Slam

The Kansan

SALINA — The Newton American Legion Post 2 Senior Knights baseball team finished 3-1 at the 31st Kansas Grand Slam Wood Bat Classic Thursday through Saturday in Salina.

After winning the opening game Thursday, Newton downed the 316 Elite-Helm 8-3 and the Wichita Aeros-Oldenburg 7-5 Friday.

Saturday in bracket play, Newton fell to 315 Elite-Jones 7-2.

Newton opened play Friday against the 316 Elite-Helm squad.

Down 3-1, Newton scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and five runs in the fifth inning. The game was called in the sixth inning on the time limit.

The Knights were aided by four 316 Elite errors. Newton was outhit 5-3.

Griff Davis went the distance on the mound for the Knights, allowing two earned runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts.

Cade Valdez drove in two runs for the Knights. Davis, Jake Schmidt and Mike Seirer each added an RBI.

Against the Wichita Aeros, Newton led 4-2 after four innings. The Aeros scored three runs in the top of the sixth. Newton opened the bottom of the sixth with an Owen Mick single. Ian Akers was hit by a pitch. Ryan Ruggerio walked. Mick scored when Jaso grounded into a fielder’s choice. Andrew Barron then singled to score a pair of runs. The time limit then kicked in to end the game.

Barron finished three for four hitting with three RBIs. Jaso was two for four with two RBIs. Akers and Tanner Watkins each added an RBI. Akers and Ruggerio each went two for three hitting.

Jaso pitched five innings for Newton, allowing one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts. Cade Valdez finished the game for the win, allowing two earned runs on three hits with a walk.

In bracket play Saturday, Newton fell behind 5-1 after three innings. The Elite scored a run in the fifth inning and another in the sixth inning. Newton scored a run in the bottom of the seventh.

Davis was two for three hitting for Newton. Ruggerio and Joe Slechta each drove in a run.

Akers pitched four innings for the loss, allowing four earned runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Barron pitched three innings, allowing one earned run on three hits with a walk and a strikeout.

Newton is 11-10 and plays at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Buhler. Zone tournaments are set to begin July 16. Newton is assigned to Class AAA, Zone 3 at Great Bend with Hays. The top team advances to state in Pittsburg.

Friday’s games

vs. 316 Elite-Helms

316 Elite;200;100;—;3;5;4


Gilstrap (L), Price 5 and Wendling; Davis (W) and Ruggerio.

vs. Wichita Aeros



Robert, Paradi (L) 6 and Stovall; Jaso, Valdez (W) 6 and Ruggerio.

Saturday’s game

vs. 316 Elite-Jones

316 Elite;050;011;0;—;7;7;0


Pelfrey, Drake (W) 4 and Wardell; Akers (L), Barron 4 and Boston.