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Posted: March 10, 2014 3:11 p.m.

Diamond Rams pick up region win

The Newton Rams varsity baseball team earned its first region win of the season on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Newton High, defeating Lovejoy 6-3.

Newton’s Daniel Croom was put on the mound against the Wildcats after an outstanding performance in his last start, including 16 strikeouts. Croom had another solid performance, pitching 5-2/3 innings while giving up just five hits in the win.

Newton rebounded from its region-opening loss to rival Rockdale County, and Newton coach Andre Byrd said he thought the loss to the Bulldogs played a role in the win over the Wildcats.

“I think the loss to Rockdale helped,” Byrd said. “They have been more focused since that game.”

Newton started off the game in a solid fashion after Loveyjoy gave up a walk and had a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning. Newton’s Allen Bowen capitalized on the Wildcats’ miscues, smacking down a RBI-single to bring the runner in, giving Newton a 1-0 lead after the first.

The Rams added to their lead in the bottom of the third after Croom reached on a base knock. Mason Callaway reached base on a double, scoring Croom.

Down by a pair of runs, the Wildcats found their offensive spark in the top of the fourth, getting their first run of the game. Lovejoy’s Manny Martinez sent one out of the park for a solo home run, trimming Newton’s lead to 2-1.

Newton bounced back and earned the run right back, as Alex Johnson recorded a RBI-double in the bottom of the fourth inning.

That wasn’t all for the Rams, as they added two more runs in the fifth inning, extending their lead.  M. J. Boykin got down a single and then Lovejoy walked the next batter. Then, Shawn Guckenburger made Lovejoy pay, hitting a double that brought both runners in.

Newton’s big fourth inning pushed its lead to 5-1, but the Wildcats weren’t ready to give up.

Lovejoy plated two runs in top of the sixth on a Danyale Brimer double, but Newton was able to add another run in the sixth before Levi Langford came to the mound in relief and wrapped up the victory for the Rams.

Newton returns to action today on the road at 5:30 p.m. at Stockbridge.

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