Newts Stumble into All-Star Break on Losing Skid
NEW CARLISLE - With the wind blowing out to center field during batting practice on a hot, humid day, it seemed as if the Bourissa Hills Wildcards (8-10) and New Carlisle Newts (12-6) were headed for a long Sunday afternoon at Migley Field.
Coming into the series, three Wildcards had batting averages over the .600 mark, while the Newts were ORWBL's leading scoring team through five weeks.
However, as the first pitch was being thrown, the wind shifted dramatically. Only the Wildcards adjusted en route to a sweep, 4-2, 5-0, and 5-4 (F/10).
The Wildcards got on the board first with a home run by D.J. Hill off Aidan Cotter in the third inning of the opener.
Cotter would help himself in the bottom half with a two-out triple, later scoring on an RBI single by Koby Keck to tie the game.
Cotter again would do the work at the plate in the fourth, doubling home Matt Soos to give the Newts a 2-1 advantage, which they held until the sixth inning.
Evan Layman led off the sixth with a single. Zach Rehlander followed with a line drive off Cotter's throat for another single. With two aboard, Cody Carlisle smacked a line drive that cut through the wind for a three-run home run that flipped the score to 4-2 in favor of Bourissa Hills.
The Newts appeared deflated in game two, mustering out only five hits in the game. Most of the Wildcard damage came in a four-run third inning. Hill started the scoring again with a two-run double and Allen Ament put the game out of reach with a two-run homer.
Desperately trying to salvage one, the skipper took the ball for the series finale. With a solid defense behind him, Keck worked four scoreless innings to start the game.
The Newts took a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Curless scored Matt Soos on a groundout, followed by an RBI single from Scott Soos.
New Carlisle was in command until the fifth inning, when Hill lined one out to right field for a two-run homer to tie up. The next batter was Ament, who hit a moonshot to left to give the Cards the 3-2 lead.
Curless and the Newts would not quit, as the big man singled home Connor VanOverberghe in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 3.
The game appeared over in the sixth, as Curless blasted a fly ball over the right field foul pole. Originally signaling for a home run, Wildcards catcher Ament reversed his call to a foul ball.
For the second consecutive week, New Carlisle found themselves mired in a long, extra-inning affair. Keck continued on the mound, throwing another four scoreless innings, as the Newts defense repeatedly held off scoring threats.
In the tenth, with Layman on base, Carlisle stuck another dagger in the Newts with a two-run homer to break the tie.
VanOverberghe gave the Newts a shot to come back again with an RBI single, but he was left on base as Curless lined out to send New Carlisle to their fifth straight loss.
Migley Field will host the ORWBL All-Star Game on Friday night, with festivities beginning at 6pm ET. The Newts are back home on Sunday to face Great Lakes at 1:20pm ET.