Times Staff Reporter
CLAY CITY -- D.J. Newton stuck out 13 and was assisted with home runs from Will Kennedy and A.J. Evans as Clay City defeated Linton-Stockton 6-2 Thursday in Clay City.
Newton overcame some wildness early, allowing only three baserunners after the third inning to put together the complete-game victory for the Eels (2-3, 1-1 Tri River Conference).
"D.J. was a little wild early, but he settled down and did a good job on the mound for us," Clay City coach Ryan Swearingen said.
The two teams mirrored each other early, as smallball dominated the first inning. Leadoff hitters for both teams -- Keith Cunningham for the Miners and Ryne Hayes for the Eels -- reached on singles, stole second and plated the first runs for their respective teams.
Both teams then had their respective 6-7-8 hitters strike out in the second to keep the game at a 1-1 tie.
The Miners scored their second, and final run of the game on an Adam Neff single which brought in Levi Baysinger who had been walked, stole second and reached third on Newton's second wild pitch of the game.
However, the lead was wiped away by a big bottom of the fourth for the Eels.
Tyler Bridgewater got things started with a single to left and was brought home by a big homer from Kennedy to deep left-center. Kyler Rhodes drew a walk and a Tanner Persinger single put the Eels in business with two on and none out. However, Rhodes was cut down trying to steal third on a botched hit and run to temporarily quell the threat.
Tyler Jenkins then drew a walk of his own, Persinger came home on a Kole Smith groundout, and Newton helped his own cause, driving in Jenkins on a short fly to right center before Hayes stuck out to end the inning with Clay City leading 5-2.
"We had a couple of hits the wind played with," Swearingen said about the wind possibly keeping a couple balls from leaving the park. "But we were more focused all around, and it showed by not striking out as much."
Linton-Stockton posed a threat in the top of the fifth after Neff drew a walk and stole second with two outs, but smart defensive plays from both Kennedy and Newton put a stop to it. Ty Scott singled to center for the Miners, but Kennedy came up throwing to hold the runner at third. However, Scott attempted to take second on the throw, which was cut off by Newton, who made the smart throw to second to cut Scott down and end the inning.
Evans wasted no time making a statement in the bottom of the fifth, taking the first pitch from Ty Trent over the left-center field wall to cap the Eels' scoring for the game.
Newton put a quick end to the final two innings by not allowing a hit and getting three punchouts as only one runner reached due to an error from Hayes with two outs in the seventh.
Newton led the charge from the plate going 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Hayes, Evans, Bridgewater, Kennedy and Persinger added one hit apiece for the Eels, who had seven on the night. Hayes and Rhodes each had a stolen base as well for the Eels.
"Newton had a great game and Kennedy has been seeing the ball well, getting his fourth home run on the season," Swearingen said. "Our defense was strong and we played very well as a team."
The Eels will remain at home for their next game against Vincennes Rivet at 5 p.m., Monday.
At Clay City
HR -- CC (Kennedy, Evans), SB -- LS (Cunningham, Neff, Baysinger), CC (Hayes, Rhodes)
WP -- LS (Trent 3), CC (Newton 2)
Next Game: Clay City Vs. Vincennes Rivet, 5 p.m., Monday, at Clay City.