Even with the winter weather we experienced this past week, spring sports are off and running in full affect. The Newton High School baseball team has already got into the middle of their non-region schedule. Due to several rain-outs, Newton had only played two games until Friday evening where they were looking to get a win over the MLK Lions. Going into the game 0-2, Newton needed this win to kick start the season, but couldn’t get it done and fell 8-4 to the Lions.
The game was scoreless after two innings but a base-hit by Antonio Johnson led to a RBI-single by Omari Harris to give the Lions a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Harris would continue his hot streak in the fifth inning by smashing a RBI-double to the wall bringing in another run for MLK. Until this point in the game, Newton only had one hit.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Rams rallied to score four runs and take the lead 4-2, but they did it without getting a hit. After two walks to start off, the Lions committed two errors and had two wild pitches. Newton’s base running was impressive as they were able to steal bases when needed. After going scoreless in the sixth, Newton had a 4-2 lead in the top of the seventh just three outs away from their first win.
But Newton went into self-destruct mode. After a lead-off walk, it all went downhill for the Rams. They gave up three RBI-singles that led to six runs for the Lions. Newton in all gave up 10 hits to MLK, but they only managed to get two hits in the game by Mason Calloway and Victor Medina.
Hitting has been the major problem for the Rams to start off the season. In their previous two games, they were only able to score three runs combined and couldn’t get more than two hits each game. Pitching has been solid for Newton, and maybe be their strong point due to the lack of offense they’re receiving.
“We can’t hit,” Newton Head Coach Andre Byrd said. “It’s kind of hard to say that when that’s all we have been doing (hitting).”
Newton is a young team with just four seniors on the roster this year. The current seniors didn’t get much playing time last year. The Rams are coming off an extremely impressive year being the Region 2-AAAAAA champions last season. Byrd feels that his players think they can just walk in and become region champs without putting in the necessary work.
Byrd said, “They are living off of them [2014 baseball team] not understanding they got to actually play the game of baseball.”