Little things matter in sports.
In a Little Hawkeye Conference showdown with the top team in the conference Monday, Newton Senior High’s Cardinals put up a good showing. The Cardinals were right with the visiting Norwalk High Warriors to the end.
The Warriors had a couple of the little things go their way for a 3-1 decision over the Cardinals.
“We were hitting the ball hard but right at people. We have runners in scoring position early and we hit a line-drive hard and deep so we had to hold them up. If it was hit a little shallower, we’re up 1-0,” said Darin Tisdale, Newton co-coach.
“The kids did a good job competing all night.”
It was Senior Night at Eversman Field in Woodland Park for the Cardinals. Newton recognized Taylor Field, Jacob Hill, Jacob Marter, Zach Gifford and Collin Reynolds and their parents before the varsity game. All five seniors played in the game but it wasn’t their final game on their home field.
Newton (15-15) goes to Boone on Wednesday then South Tama on Thursday for junior varsity/varsity doubleheadrs. The Cardinals have a make-up junior varsity/varsity doubleheader at home against Oskaloosa next Monday.
The Cardinals had something going in the bottom of the second with one gone. Mike McCormick put down a bunt for a base hit and moved to second base on a passed ball. Evan Shimon connected to deep center field for a single but McCormick had to wait to see if the ball dropped in before taking off for third base.
Warrior senior pitcher Bailey Scott struck out the next two Cardinals to end the threat. Scott, who went the distance on the mound for the Warriors, limited the Cards to three singles on the night and recorded nine strikeouts.
“Our pitchers did a great job of getting the ball in the strike zone. We’re right in the game but we didn’t make a couple of plays and that was the difference tonight,” Tisdale said.
Tyler Wood started for Newton and tossed three innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out four. Derek Wrage came on in relief and took the loss. He pitched three innings and was charged with two runs on four hilts and one walk. He struck out one.
Michael Barr took over on the hill in the seventh. Barr gave up one run on one hit. Norwalk scored with two outs in the fifth. Connor Elbert singled and scored on a double by Kolby Greenslade. Scott singled to open the Warriors’ sixth and Sam Acri goes in as a courtesy runner.
A couple of little things went awry for the Cardinals after that. Hayes Breeser singled but Acri got tangled in the base line with a Newton infielder and was awarded third base for obstruction. A wild pitch allowed Acri to score to put Norwalk up 2-0.
Field, the Cardinals’ catcher, put his team right back in the game with one gone in the bottom of the sixth. Field singled to center field. Field’s speed turned a bobble by the Warriors’ fielder into a two-base error.
Field scored on another Warrior error on a hit by Wood. Wood was at second base but the Cardinals weren’t able to move him around and went to the seventh down 2-1.
Barr got two ground balls for outs by the Warriors. Greenslade doubled to right field and Jake Simpson reached on a throwing error, allowing his teammate to score.
Norwalk’s Scott notched his final three strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh. He issued a one-out walk to Wrage.
Tisdale said this was the type of game people can expect to see in district tournament play next week.
Newton’s junior varsity lost 5-1 to Norwark on Monday.