In a series that could determine a trip to the state playoffs or not, Newton took control of the series by winning game one against Alcovy in a bit of a shootout, 13-7.
Alcovy took an early 4-1 lead after two innings in large part from Marc Beddington’s bat, who had multiple RBI, with two coming in the first and second innings. Newton pitcher Augustus Murray was shaky early, he walked a few and it seemed he couldn’t control his changeup. Alcovy starting pitcher, Chandler White had allowed just the one run and a couple scattered hits.
Murray got help from the Rams’ offense in the third inning. Grant Burroughs started the inning off with a double that Murray quickly followed with an RBI double of his own to bring Newton within two runs. Murray ran the bases well, as he used his speed after forcing an overthrow to second on a pump fake steal, to add another run for Newton. The Rams would get two quick outs, but their offensive onslaught wasn’t over.
Catcher Alex Johnson hit a deep shot to left for a double, which had there been more air under it might have been a homer. A couple passed balls would score Phillip Rowe, who came in to pinch run for Johnson, tying the game at 4-4. An error, a HBP and a walk loaded the bases before yet another passed ball (yes there were a lot of them) gave Newton a 5-4 lead.
Alcovy head coach Ryan Denison had seen enough. Beddington came in to pitch and was able to get out of the inning with no more casualties.
The fourth inning was a dry affair for both teams, as neither was able to get a base hit. The Tigers’ offense woke up in the fifth, with some help from Murray.
Murray would hit the first batter, and walked the second. Rams’ head coach Andre Byrd didn’t want Newton to lose its lead so he brought in Gavin Croll to pitch. A Jacob Spivey bunt loaded the bases and put Croll in hot water.
Quinton Grizzard hit a chopper to third that got under the defender’s glove and scored two runs to give the Tigers a 6-5 lead. Logan Hinson dropped a shot just inches away from the foul line in left to score one more run for Alcovy and put them ahead 7-5.
Croll retired the next two batters before Newton centerfielder Mason Calloway gunned one home to get the last out of the inning.
Down by two runs, Newton’s offense responded again. Johnson recorded his second double of the game with a shot down the third baseline. An error in left field would allow Johnson to score and give Victor Medina a double. Auliver Astin crushed a pitch to deep center for an RBI double. An error at first would give Newton another run before the inning ended with the Rams taking their final lead of the game at 8-7.
Newton poured it on in the sixth inning, adding five more runs before closing out Alcovy at the the top of the seventh.
Alcovy will get the chance to win its next two at home on Friday as they play Newton in a doubleheader beginning at 4:30 p.m.