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Newton offense still looking for consistency

Gabriel Stovall | The Covington News/

Jamal Boykin gets set to drive home the Rams' lone run during Friday's region contest against Archer.

Things started out well enough for the Newton Rams this past Friday, but they couldn’t keep it going enough to halt an onslaught from Archer, as the Tigers turned a one run deficit into an 11-1 win against the Rams in five innings on Friday night.

Archer (10-4, 3-0 in Region 8-AAAAAAA) remains undefeated in the Region 8-AAAAAAA, while Newton (7-7, 0-3) has not won a region game as of yet.

It was the kind of game that typified for coach Andre Byrd the main issues Newton has had on the baseball field so far this season.

“Until we put something together offensively,” said Byrd, until the players put in their mind that their coach knows what it takes to score runs and that they need to execute on offense, it’s going to continue to be this way. I think this is the first time in history where we played three games and scored one run. It’s kind of low right now, but we’re going to try to dig ourselves out of it.”

Archer’s Crews Taylor, who hit a homer at the top of the fourth inning, and Ryan Cavey were big offensive players, scoring three runs each. Chris Keane, Taylor Dolph, Christian Perez, Anthony Bailey and Jack Kraus all scored a run as well.

Marcus Smith scored the Rams’ single run at the bottom of the first inning. After he hit a triple, Jamal Boykin then plated Smith for the first run of the game. Archer made their only error in the first inning.

Boykin was not only a key player in the Rams’ offense, he was also key in on the defensive end.

“Boykin is playing really good defense,” said Byrd. “He’s hitting the ball. He’s one of the ones that hits the ball. He’s one of our strengths. “

A lack of hitting held the Rams back as it has for much of the season. They were able to get four hits in the game compared to Archer’s eight, but left several potential runs on base.

After tying the game 1-1 in the second inning, the Tigers took a lead in the third inning. Taylor got to third base from a wild pitch and was plated by a Bailey single. Archer, with no outs, was able to load the bases.

Cavey brought the score to 3-1 from a wild pitch. With a fielding error from Newton, Keane advanced to first to load the bases again in the third inning. Archer was able to bring the score to 6-1 in their favor by the end of the third. Newton had three errors at the top of the third.

The Tigers ended the game at the top of the fifth when Dolph and Taylor were plated by a Cavey triple, bringing the score to 10-1. With two outs, Cavey scored the last run for the Tigers when he was drove home by a Jaron Brown single. Newton had one error in the fifth.

Archer outscored Newton 23-1 in its three-game sweep of the Rams.

“I think that they are coached well,” said Byrd. “I think pitching wise we matched up very well with them. But they hit the ball more than we did. You can’t win the game with one run.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Rams as they next take on Grayson (12-5, 3-0) on the road Monday, which will be the start of a three-game stint against the Bears who are tied with Archer for the region lead. 

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