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Newton baseball eliminated
Newton High School's Shawn Guckenberger blasts a double off the McEachern pitching staff in the Rams' 14-4 loss to McEachern Saturday. The loss eliminated Newton from the Class AAAAAA state playoffs. - photo by Matt Smith

It came down to a winner-take-all game for Newton and McEachern’s baseball teams Saturday afternoon, with the winner moving on to the second round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.

After a thrilling win by the Rams in the first game, the Indians took over the series in a dominating fashion, defeating Newton 8-0 in the final game, outscoring the Rams 22-4 over the final two contests.

It was the worst time for Newton’s bats to go cold.  The Rams managed only three hits throughout the game, suffering their worst loss since a 10-0 shutout on March 5 against Stephenson.

McEachern showed that its game two victory, a 14-4 win over Newton, was no fluke, blasting away at Newton’s pitching rotation for 15 hits, scoring a run in every inning of the game.

It started off in the first inning with an RBI-single by Brent Alford, and from that point forward, McEachern’s offense didn’t let up.

The Indians scored one run in each of the first four innings, including a run on a sacrifice fly in the second, an RBI-single by Chase Sudduth in the third and an RBI-single by Trey Harris in the fourth.

During that span, Newton managed to get only one hit. McEachern’s starting pitcher, John Wells, gave the Rams trouble with his curveball, leaving Newton’s hitters whiffing at the plate.

“We haven’t hit the curveball all year,” Newton coach Andre Byrd said. “They did a good job of scouting us.”

McEachern scored four more runs over the final three innings of the game. Bailey Hockman and Stephen Wells knocked in two runs in the fifth inning, and Zach Smith got another run in the sixth inning for the Indians, clinching the shutout victory.

“All year we had the attitude that we’re going to come back and win,” Byrd said. “For some odd reason today, we just felt like we were out of it.”

Newton ends its season with a 15-11 overall record after earning the No. 1 seed in Region 2-AAAAAA with a 9-3 league mark.