NEW CARLISLE - The 12th season of New Carlisle Newts wiffleball got underway on Sunday at Migley Field. The Newts opened up the year taking two of three from the Twin Branch Billy Goats, 5-1, 2-1, 3-4.
With the wind at the ballpark howling in from the north, the confines were not very friendly for hitting.
Known for the power in their lineup, the Newts were able to adjust to the conditions and manufacture runs in the opener. Trailing 1-0 in the second, Matt Soos and Garrett Curless hit back-to-back singles. After Scott Soos advanced the runners with a fly out, Noah Shail laced a two-run single to give the Newts the 2-1 lead.
Shail again drove in Matt Soos and Curless with a triple in the third. Rookie Zarek Finley followed that up with a single to score Shail, and the Newts went up 5-1.
The four-run cushion was plenty of run support for Curless, who picked up the win on the mound. After allowing a run in the first, Curless was lights out the rest of the way to get 2018 campaign started on a positive note.
In the second game, Chayse Davis took the ball and also turned in a solid outing. Like Curless in game one, Davis allowed just one run in a complete game, victorious effort.
Once again, the Billy Goats struck first. This time scoring after base runner Daivyn Davis collided with Shail on a pop fly that dropped in for a hit. No interference was called, and Davis scored to make it 1-0.
Curless led off the bottom of the sixth with a base hit, followed by another single from Scott Soos. Shail again came up clutch with a double to tie the game. With his brother as the winning run on third base, Matt Soos put the ball in play for a walk-off RBI groundout to give the Newts a 2-1 victory.
Aiming for a sweep, Matt Soos went to the mound in game three. He helped his own cause in the first inning, scoring Finley on an RBI double as the Newts drew first blood. The next batter Danny Hernandez singled to bring Soos around, and New Carlisle was up 2-0 after one frame.
Finley tacked on the Newts' final run, with a little-league home run in the second inning. Ripping a double down the left field line, Finley kept running as the Goats threw the ball around the diamond.
However, the lead was not enough. The Goats cut through the wind twice in the third, as Frankie Minerva and Brandon Campbell lined back-to-back home runs into the leftfield bleachers. Twin Branch ultimately took the lead the next inning, when captain Andrew Doran hit a two-run shot to make it 4-3.
New Carlisle put two runners on base in the bottom of the sixth with one out, but Hernandez grounded into a double play to end the game.
After the 2-1 start to the season, the Newts are back in action on Thursday, May 17 against the South Shore Silver Sluggers (0-3). First pitch is slated for 6:05pm ET at Migley Field.