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PREP BASEBALL: Newton coach James Jackson remains optimistic despite run-rule loss to Jackson in season opener
Newton Baseball
First-year Newton head coach James Jackson talks with a handful of his players during Monday's season opener against Jackson. -photo by Michael Pope

COVINGTON, Ga. — The Newton Rams struggled on the diamond as they fell in their baseball season opener to the Jackson Red Devils by a score 10-0 in a foggy four-inning game. 

The Red Devils were on the attack early and often and quickly jumped out to a four-run lead in the first inning of the game. They had the bats working as catcher Bo Mostellar brought in the first run of the game with a runner on second and one out as he roped an RBI single past the Rams’ shortstop. 

Mostellar’s single would be followed by Red Devils shortstop Kent Taylor, who fired a single of his own and was able to get to second base on the throw. Pitcher Dakota Copeland would have the big hit of the inning as he lined a single over the shortstop’s head and brought in two runs to extend his team’s lead to three. 

The Red Devils would round out their scoring in the first inning with a bases loaded walk before finally being retired. The quick start by the Red Devils made the comeback for the Rams that much tougher.

They scored in each and every inning, earning three runs in the second, two runs in the third and one run in the fourth before the game was finally ended. The pitcher’s mound was a revolving door for the Rams staff because of their struggles, but head coach James Jackson wanted to see what his hurlers could do.

“I have three guys that I know that I’m going to go with, but I really need two more. Those four guys that I threw on the mound today, those were the four guys that I was trying to look at.”

One player that caught the eye of coach Jackson on the mound was Will Standard, who pitched and played first and third in the game. Standard gave up a few runs on the mound, but did look very comfortable during his time on the bump.


Will Standard
Newton pitcher Will Standard winds up for a pitch during the Rams' Monday night season opener against Jackson. -photo by Michael Pope

“I know now that Will (Standard) is a gamer,” Jackson said. “I mean he really pitched very well. He was pounding the strike zone, very consistent. He was in and out of the zone, inside and outside, his changeup worked tremendously.”

The Rams pitchers seemed to settle down more as the game continued, and the more comfortable they got, the better job they did of handling the Red Devils’ offense. As for the Rams’ offense, Jackson knew hitting would come around later than pitching, and he believes he will have his guys focused on being more aggressive at the plate.

“We didn’t attack the first pitch and once we got behind we got frazzled,” he said. “We’re actually going to go to work tomorrow on that. We’re going to put them in a 1-2 count and they’re going to have to battle in that.”

Although it was a tough start for the Rams, Jackson saw a lot of positive signs and sees potential for growth in his young team that only has one senior. 

“The guys actually competed. I did not see any down heads. They were taking some of the constructive criticism very well, and they were trying to make the adjustments that the coaches were telling them. We’re going to have some bumpy games, but later down the road in region time, I think we’re going to be okay.”