NEW CARLISLE - Sunday was a historic day at Castle Park on County Line Road, and not because the New Carlisle Newts (11-10) won their second consecutive series to climb above the .500 mark for the first time all season.
It was another 500 milestone that was eclipsed to grab the headlines.
All-time ORWBL home run leader Scott Soos tallied his 500th career home run in the fifth inning of game two. Soos, now in his 12th ORWBL season, had patented the majestic moonshot for so many of the previous 499 dingers. However, the milestone homer was of the inside-the-park variety.
For the series, New Carlisle took two of three against the County Line Knights, 20-21 (F/8), 15-4, 12-5.
The opening loss turned out to be one of the most ridiculous extra-inning games in team history – and that’s coming from the franchise who lost a 27-inning marathon in 2022.
After taking a four-run lead early, the Newts fell behind 8-4 heading into the fifth. The bats came alive, as New Carlisle rallied to tie it. JP Kehoe hit a two-run homer to cut the deficit in half, followed by back-to-back solo shots by Aidan Cotter and Soos.
Although County Line (11-10) took a 9-8 advantage in the bottom half, the Newts responded again. First, Garrett Curless tied it up with a solo blast to lead off the sixth. Then Soos brought home Kehoe on a two-run homer to give New Carlisle an 11-9 lead.
Sam Bull and Adin Newman quickly knotted it up with back-to-back bombs in the bottom of the sixth, and the Knights put two runners on with nobody out. Curless was able to work out of the jam to send the game to extras.
With a thunderstorm approaching, all hell broke loose in the seventh. Curless and Kehoe homered to get it started, while Matt Soos homered twice to drive in five runs in the frame. Kehoe added another two-run homer, and a nine-spot in the inning gave the Newts a 20-11 lead.
But the Knights answered with nine of their own.
After the top of the Newts lineup went down in order in the eighth, Camden Bashaw walked it off with a shot into the woods.
Prior to game two, a tornado watch was issued for the area, and the series went into a 45-minute delay. As the rain poured, so did the slushies (credit to the Skornog family). Following the storm, the wind calmed significantly.
The Newts continued their dominance in game two’s this season, as Cotter held the Knights in check with only four runs and six hits.
Meanwhile, the offense continued to play long ball. Matt Soos hit four home runs, and Scott Soos had three. Curless and Sean Touhey each hit a pair, while Kehoe and Tyler Shupert had one each.
In the rubber match, Matt Soos took the ball for the first time in seven weeks and turned in a quality start. Much like game two, the outcome was never really in doubt as New Carlisle took an 8-1 lead by the halfway mark.
Cotter and Kehoe belted three homers a piece, and Shupert got right with two of his own. Scott Soos hit number 501, this time over the fence. Touhey continued his hot streak, homering in his third consecutive game.
The Newts are back on the road on Sunday, July 2to face the first-place Twin Branch Billy Goats (17-4). First pitch is scheduled for 1:00pm ET.