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Newton's bats explode
Host team beats Virginia 15-0
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Newton County's bats came to life in its third game of the 2012 Dixie Boys World Series Tuesday.

After struggling with limited hitting performances in the first game, a loss to Texas, then in a win over Mississippi in another elimination game Monday, Newton County tallied 14 hits in a 15-0 6-inning win over Virginia.

Every batter for Newton County had at least one hit against four Virginia pitchers. Austin Taylor, Connor Hewell, Gray Ritchie and Marquell Stevens all had two hits for the host team. Ritchie drove in three runs, while scoring three more and Nick Womack had a two-run home run in the sixth inning.

"They're backs were against the wall to the point where one loss sends you home," Newton County coach Denny Hewell said. "They knew the chips were down. I couldn't ask for a better hitting performance."

Newton County took a 3-0 lead against Virginia in the top of the second inning starting with a lead off hit by Taylor. Hewell followed with a hit of his own and Ritchie brought them both home on a double to the gap.

Ritchie moved to third on a sacrifice by Phillip Rowe and Ritchie scored on a wild pitch.

Virginia had its only threatening inning in the second loading the bases on three walks. The bases on balls by starting pitcher Mike Terry were the only Newton County issued walks of the game. After the third walk, to Layne Shifflet, Hewell went to Shope on the mound.

Shope had an excellent outing, going 2 2/3 without giving up a run, hit or walk, while striking out four.

"Shope did a great job," Hewell said.

Newton County added to its lead the next inning, starting again with back-to-back hits by Jake Jones and Blake Shope, respectively. After a fly out by Womack, Taylor hit into a double-play ball that was fielded poorly by Virginia resulting in an error and Jones crossing the plate. Shope scored on an RBI single past the second baseman by Hewell. Taylor came home on a sacrifice by Ritchie.

In the fifth inning, Ritchie hit a one out double on a line drive to center field, and Rowe brought him home on a bloop single. Powell then scored Rowe on an RBI double, and came home himself on Stevens single.

Leading 9-0 after the fifth inning, Newton County as one run away from the 10-run rule, and got it and more in the top of the sixth.

Shope led off by hitting into an error and Womack followed with a monstrous home run to center field.

Newton County later loaded the bases and Hill walked Powell to score Hewell. Stevens followed with a two-RBI single up the middle, scoring Ritchie and Rowe. Jones ended the scoring on a sacrifice grounder to second base.

Newton, one of five teams left, will play South Carolina at 5 p.m.