COVINGTON, Ga. — The Newton High School baseball team took care of business Saturday afternoon as it went on the road and defeated cross-county rival Alcovy High School in both games of the weekend doubleheader.
The Rams were nothing short of stellar at the plate all day, driving in 33 combined runs in the two games.
Newton 26, Alcovy 11
Going into the first game, the two county rivals had completely different seasons up to this point, with the Tigers at a 4-2 record, and the Rams at 1-4.
Senior Hunter Owensby was given the starting nod for the Tigers in the first contest, but the lefty was taken out of the game after four innings, giving up eight runs on eight hits, as well as four walks during his time on the mound.
Owensby was tagged early with two runs in the first inning, with Newton’s speed on the base paths too much for the Alcovy defense to handle early in the game. The following inning would be even more dreadful for the Tigers as the Rams would tally three hits and three walks, driving in five runs and giving Newton a large lead to hold on to.
After relieving Owensby in the top of the fourth, the Tigers would put together a big inning of their own in the other half-inning. A two-run double by sophomore Mehki Phillips and a two-run single from junior Lamar Williams would bring the Tigers closer. Following a sacrifice fly from catcher Chris Burney, the two county rivals were tied at eight going into the fifth.
Going into the final inning, the two teams were going back in forth in the score column, but the Tigers found themselves down to their final three outs down by one. After a Jayden Bishop single, Williams laid down a bunt that was fielded and sent over first baseman JD Coltharp’s head, driving in the tying run.
After what was thought to be a momentum shift for the Tigers, the Rams put the dagger in the game during the eighth inning. The Rams batted around before the first out of the inning was recorded, racking up runs on Alcovy pitching. Before senior Chandler Hicks doubled off a runner at second base to end the inning, Newton tallied 15 runs, which put an end to the first game.
In the staggering 26-11 win for Newton, the Rams were led offensively by Ross, who knocked five hits in seven at-bats, driving in two runs and grabbing four stolen bases. The Tigers were looking to reverse their misfortunes that doomed them in the first game, with seven errors plaguing them throughout the game.
Newton 7, Alcovy 6
The Rams would hold on to a late lead to take the two-game sweep over the Tigers in the second game of the doubleheader.
Burney took the mound for the Tigers following a tough outing on the mound for Alcovy pitching in the first game of the doubleheader. Burney was pulled from the game after four innings, giving up four runs on five hits, while also giving up three walks.
Senior Brody Landreau got the starting role for Newton and was nothing short of spectacular through the start of the game, only allowing one hit through the first four innings.
After Izzy Dixon drew a walk, Justin Brown drove in the run all the way from first on a line drive into right field, giving the Rams the early lead.
Two RBI singles in the second and third innings accompanied by a run scoring on a passed ball would give the Rams a 4-0 lead going into the fifth. After a hit-by-pitch and a walk from Newton’s seven and eight hitters, Miguel Barbis lined a ball into the right-center gap, driving in both runs and to extend the Rams lead to 6-0.
The Tigers would get in the score column for the first time during the bottom of the fifth.
Three consecutive errors from the Newton defense drove in Alcovy’s first run of the game, and would eventually set an RBI-double from Hicks that was launched deep into the gap in left center. Junior Raquis Holmes drove in one more run pull the Tigers closer as the game was nearing its end.
With Williams now on the mound for the Tigers, the junior shut down the Rams in innings six and seven, allowing Alcovy to climb back. After scoring two-runs on an error by the Rams’ outfield in the sixth, the Tigers found themselves down to their final three outs down by just one run.
Senior Elisha Graves came to the rescue for the Tigers, lining a double into right-center, driving in the tying run to send the game into extra innings.
The momentum was short-lived however, as the Rams would answer quickly. After Ross reached on a passed ball by the catcher Hicks, Dixon got a knock into center field to put two runners on with no outs. A sacrifice fly by Brown drove in the run that put Newton ahead for the final time.
After a single by Bishop to start a promising bottom of the eighth, a sharp line out to center by Williams allowed the centerfielder Ross to double off Bishop at second base. Barbis recorded the final out for the Rams as he struck out Hicks swinging to end the game and complete the two-game sweep over the Tigers on the road.
The Rams were able to gather seven hits on the Tigers behind a good game from Dixon, who finished with two hits, one walk, and one RBI.
After falling to 4-4 on the season, the Tigers will be back on the diamond to host the Putnum County War Eagles on Tuesday, March 3. For the Rams, they’ll look to continue their hot streak and attempt to reach .500 when they host the Monticello Hurricanes on Tuesday, March 3.