NEW CARLISLE - With the Twin Branch ballpark unavailable, the New Carlisle Newts (3-3) played as the "road" team against the Billy Goats (4-2) on Sunday afternoon at Migley Field. And as any astute wiffleball fan could predict, an early season tilt at the corner of Bray and Dunn was not very friendly to hitters. The Goats took two of three, 1-2 (F/7), 5-2, and 2-1.
Making his Newts debut, Colton Boren was responsible for the first run of the series, an RBI single in the top of the fourth which scored Aidan Cotter from second base.
On the mound, Cotter took a perfect game into the bottom half of the inning. Riley Smith broke it up with a single, but was quickly erased from the bases on a nifty double play by Newts centerfielder Garrett Curless. The only other hit Cotter would allow was a game-tying solo home run by Frankie Minerva in the bottom of the fifth.
With both teams struggling to push across runs, the game went into extras. Curless led off the seventh with a solo shot, and Cotter locked up the Goats with a 1-2-3 bottom half to close out the victory.
It was the Goats who struck first in the second game, as Minerva and Smith both went deep in the bottom of the first inning.
After three scoreless frames for both teams, the Newts tied it up in the fifth. Matt Soos singled to lead off the inning, and three batters later Curless smacked another home run to make it 2-2.
In the bottom half, a Twin Branch traffic jam on the bases created issues for the Newts. Singles by Andrew Doran and Keigan White put two runners on with two outs. Goats leadoff hitter Lucas Oletti came to the plate, having been retired by Cotter in his first seven plate appearances. This time, Oletti got the best of the Newts ace, driving a fly ball through the wind and over the left centerfield fence for a three-run homer.
The rubber match followed the pattern of the first two contests. The Goats again got a first inning lead, this time on a solo blast by Minerva.
The game remained 1-0 until the sixth inning. Colton Boren tied it up with his first Newts homer. The Newts nearly took the lead a few batters later, when Soos roped an apparent two-out single that would have scored Sean Touhey from second base. However, the catcher Doran called Soos out on the pitcher's hand play, ending the inning.
In the bottom half, Minerva walked off the series with his second home run of the game.
Former Newt Jake Lawrence got both victories on the mound for the Goats, holding his old club to just six hits and three runs in two games.
The unexpected game at Migley Field had the grounds crew scrambling to get the ballpark into playing shape, as preparations for the true home opener were still in progress. New Carlisle will be back at the Friendly Confines against the Glen Lee Skeeters next Sunday to officially open the park for its 16th ORWBL season.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:20pm ET. The first 20 fans through the gates will receive a 2022 schedule magnet, and the Newts will unveil the 2021 World Champions banner at approximately 1:15pm.