MISHAWAKA - The New Carlisle Newts picked up the 500th all-time victory (regular season, postseason, and tournament play) in franchise history on Sunday afternoon. More importantly, the club won another road series over the Mishawaka Meatspins, 3-8, 10-3, 22-12 (F/7).
The Newts (4-2) got off to a sluggish start at Rose Park, as the offense failed to muster up much run support for starting pitcher Garrett Curless. Mishawaka's leadoff hitter Joey Schuster smoked a line drive over the centerfield fence in the first inning to get the Meatspins on the board first.
Scott Soos tied the game with a solo home run in the second inning, and with two outs Matt Soos gave the Newts the lead with a blast of his own.
The Schuster brothers answered in the bottom half. Joey sent another one out, and Randy checked in with a solo shot to center to give Mishawaka a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Grant Duncan delivered the back-breaking blow in the third, a three-run homer to pad the lead at 7-2. Joey Schuster would add his third home run of the opener in the fourth.
The Newts struck first in the second game, with Scott Soos and Garrett Ruiz hitting back-to-back dingers in the first inning.
On the mound, Matt Soos kept Mishawaka in the yard, allowing no home runs in a complete game effort. He led the way at the plate as well, going three for six with two home runs and four driven in.
Sean Touhey made a loud season debut, crushing a home run to right center in the third inning, putting the Newts up, 3-0. Mishawaka threatened in the third inning, scoring two runs on a Randy Schuster single and cutting the lead to 3-2.
New Carlisle took back control after a two-out rally in the fourth. Curless and Scott Soos went yard back-to-back. After Ruiz singled, Matt Soos sent a line drive over the left field fence to give the Newts a 7-2 advantage. Matt Soos would belt another two-run bomb in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.
The rubber match saw the Newts fall behind early, as Joey Schuster and Anthony Rieff combined to go 11 for 18 with four home runs at the top of the Mishawaka lineup.
New Carlisle trailed 4-1 in the third when Koby Keck started a rally with a single to right. Curless, Scott Soos, and Ruiz would homer in order to flip the score to 5-4.
The Meatspins' music selection shifted to an all boy band playlist, and the Newts seemed to be in the driver's seat. In the fourth, Ruiz and Matt Soos went back-to-back to bring the score to 8-4.
Joey Schuster and Rieff would cut the lead in half in the bottom portion of the fourth. In response, Scott Soos led off the fifth with a solo shot, and Sean Touhey scored his pitcher with a two-run homer to give the Newts an 11-6 lead.
Erick Mentock got the Meatspins a run in the fifth with an RBI single, but Matt Soos was able to strand two runners to keep it 11-7. A groundout by Touhey would get the Newts the insurance run back, and New Carlisle led 12-7 going to the bottom of the sixth.
Joey Schuster bit into the lead with a solo home run to lead off the inning. The Newts defense then faltered, allowing five singles and a traffic jam on the base paths. The Meatspins tied it up on a Randy Schuster knock that scored Joey Schuster and Rieff.
In extras, the Newts offense exploded. After Ruiz lined out to start the inning, New Carlisle hit six consecutive home runs bookended by Matt Soos. Touhey was retired on a liner for the second out of the inning, but Curless and Scott Soos started another fire with back-to-back jacks. Ruiz singled, and Matt Soos blasted his third home run of the inning to give the Newts a 10-run lead and himself more than enough run support.
Ryan Warmoth led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, but Matt Soos got the rest of the Meatspins to go in order and secure the victory.
New Carlisle concludes a nine-game season opening roadtrip next week at Glen Lee against the winless Skeeters. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00pm.
New ORWBL Hit King
With a single in the sixth inning of the second game, Scott Soos recorded his 762th career hit and overtook Tony Koch for first on the all-time ORWBL hits list. Soos made his ORWBL debut with Cult West in 2012 and has played for the Newts since 2016. After the series, his career hit total stands at 768. Of those, 255 have come in a Newts uniform.
The 700 Club
As Soos took over the all-time lead, Garrett Curless joined him in the 700 hit club. Curless now has 703 hits in his 15-year ORWBL career. It is worth noting that statistics were not kept for the first three seasons of league.
On the younger side of things, Garrett Ruiz also reached a notable milestone on Sunday, belting his 100th career home run. Ruiz debuted with the Jet City Junkballers in 2017, and spent a season with each the Muffs and Mechanics before landing with his hometown team in 2020. Ruiz has hit 32 of his now 101 career home runs with the Newts.
Fly 500 W's
The victory in Sunday's series finale represented the 500th all-time win for the New Carlisle Newts franchise. The ballclub was founded in 2007 and is competing in its 15th ORWBL season. To date, the team has played in 37 tournaments in addition to league play. The Newts current all-time record is as follows:
ORWBL Regular Season: 265-181 (.594)
ORWBL Postseason: 58-40 (.592)
Tournaments: 177-57 (.756)
Total: 500-278 (.643)