Newts win series, come up short on sweep
SOUTH BEND - The New Carlisle Newts (12-12) found their way back to the .500 mark on Sunday afternoon, winning two out of three against the Scottsdale Sluggers, 30-6, 13-7, and 8-5.
The Newts got off to a scorching hot start, smacking 32 hits and plating 30 runs in the series opener. Garrett Curless led the way with six home runs, followed by five dingers from Matt Soos. Aidan Cotter and Scott Soos each hit four, while Koby Keck hit three.
Cotter, who also picked up the victory on the mound, reached safely in his first nine plate appearances before finishing the game 9 for 10.
The majority of the damage came off Scottsdale pitcher Daniel Schafer, who worked the first five innings.
Schafer was lifted for newcomer Mitch Floran in the sixth. Floran allowed only one run in the final frame of the first game. He pitched the remainder of the series, and the Newts offensive production progressively declined throughout the afternoon.
Despite a much slower start, New Carlisle still managed to put up 13 runs in the second game. The teams traded a pair of runs in the first inning, and the score was 3-2 in favor of the Newts at the halfway point.
In the fourth, New Carlisle broke it open with a six-run assault. Sean Touhey got it started with a two-run blast, followed in order with solo shots from Curless and Scott Soos. Curless homered again in the inning, this time with Touhey aboard, to make it 10-3.
It was all the run support Cotter would need. Outside of three runs in the bottom of the sixth, he kept the Sluggers relatively silent the rest of the way.
With an opportunity to sweep and reach a high water mark for the season, the Newts failed to score in the top of the first. However, they did put up three in the second and built up a 5-0 lead heading in to the bottom of the fourth.
As they often do, the wheels fell off the Newts' defense which caused a traffic jam on the bases paths for the Sluggers. The back-breaking blow was a three-run home run by Connor Mowers which flipped the score and gave Scottsdale a 7-5 advantage.
After the Sluggers added an insurance run in the fifth, the Newts still had an opportunity with the tying run at the plate in the sixth. However, the game closed on a strikeout.
New Carlisle is back in action on Sunday against the first-place Granger Panthers. The series is scheduled for 1pm ET, but the location has still yet to be determined.