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Posted: February 24, 2012 12:00 a.m.

Newton notches first win under new coach Byams

The Newton baseball team gave Vincent Byams his first win Tuesday night, beating Archer 6-1 on the road.

The Rams (1-1) used a five-run sixth inning to break open a 1-1 tie for their first win of the season.

Pitching and improved defense kept the game tight, until the bats exploded in the sixth. Ryan McCranie tossed five innings, recording five strikeouts and giving up only one hit, along with one walk in picking up the win. After catching the previous night's game against Eastside, McCranie relied mostly on off-speed pitches and was able to get ahead of hitters consistently. Sherman Graves came on in the bottom of the sixth to close it out, giving up only one hit in his two innings.

"I am proud the team responded so well coming back from the previous night's loss," Byams said. "We got good all-around work out of Ryan with him getting ahead of hitters and then Sherman closing the door. The bats got going tonight. A.B. (Allen) Bowen had three hits and Tripp Lofton and Sherman each had two."

The Rams had a total of 10 hits on the night.

Scoreless for the first three innings, Loftin led off the top of the fourth with a base hit and got around to third before McCranie picked up an RBI with a ground-out to second. Graves followed with a double, but was left stranded as Archer was able to retire the next two Ram batters. In the bottom of the fourth, Archer led off with their first hit. McCranie struck out the next hitter and retired the next hitter on a ground-out. With two outs, A.B. made a diving stop at short and scrambled to make the throw to first, but Lofton was unable to dig out the low throw. The runner from third scored the only Archer run of the game on the play.

Bowen started the sixth with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. Lofton followed with a bunt single. With one out, Graves singled in the two runs that proved to be the game winners. Zack Sullivan reached base on a fielder's choice retiring Lofton, but Daniel Croom tripled to score Sullivan.

Dez Billingsley followed with an RBI double and freshman Yorel James picked up his first hit and RBI to close out the scoring.

With a 6-1 lead, Sherman came on to finish the game on the mound, but found himself in immediate trouble. The first two Archer hitters reached base the hard way.
Sherman's hard fastball struck each of them. Getting over his initial wildness, he retired the next two hitters before yielding a walk to load the bases. However, Bowen was able to snag a grounder and flip to Guckenburger at second barely ahead of the runner to retire the side.
Bowen was the defensive standout of the game, also leaping high to snag two consecutive liners in the third.

Graves came back out for the seventh and had little trouble retiring Archer, yielding just one hit and recording his second strikeout. Newton evened its record at 1-1 and next plays at Alcovy on Friday

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