NEWTON — Senior Night is special for every team. Tuesday’s non-conference game against South Tama’s Trojans was just that for Newton’s senior trio — Evan Shimon, Chandler Sturtz and Derek Wrage.
Wrage and Shimon were battery mates in the 11-1, run-rule win for the Cardinals in six innings. Wrage pitched five innings, giving up one run on three hits and struck out three.
Wrage also hit two singles to drive in two runs. Strutz, the Cardinals’ shortstop, scored twice and hit a single and a double. Shimon, Newton’s catcher, drove in a run with a triple.
The senior trio delivered on an early defensive play to keep the game scoreless. Wrage’s first pitch to South Tama’s Blake Keller was a strike in the second inning. Shimon’s quick throw to Sturtz caught Dalton Doyle in a rundown between second and third.
Wrage struck out the next two Trojan batters. The game was close — tied at 1-all — until the Cardinals broke things open with a six-run outburst in the fifth inning. They added four more in the sixth to notch the run-rule win.
The Cardinals scored the first run of the game it their half of the second inning. With one out Jordan Travis reached on an error and moved to second on a passed ball. A sacrifice bunt by Mike McCormick pushed Travis to third base. Michael Barr ripped an RBI single to left field.
South Tama tied the game in the fourth. Colson Frakes singled and scored on a one-out hit by Doyle. Wrage got Cody Kellogg to fly out to Travis in shallow right field. Travis threw behind Doyle to Barr at first for the double play.
Bryce Tish opened up the big fifth inning for the Cardinals with a single. Tish stole second base and went to third on a passed ball. Strutz drew a walk followed by an RBI double by Tyler Wood. Wrage singled in a run.
Drew Stout went in as a courtesy runner for Wrage. Shimon laid down a bunt and was safe on a Trojan error as Wood scored. Connor Gholson entered as courtesy runner for Shimon. Travis had a run-scoring base hit.
With runners at second and third, Mike McCormick successfully executed a suicide squeeze bunt. Both Gholson and Travis crossed the plate to put Newton up 7-1.
Travis took over on the mound for the Cardinals in the sixth. He worked around a walk to retire the Trojans without them scoring.
The Cardinals closed out the game with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Strutz led off with a double to left field followed by a single from Wood. Wrage reached on an error allowing Sturtz to score.
Wood came home on a passed ball and Shimon tripled in a run. Gholson, running for Shimon, scored the final run on a two-out single by Barr.
Wood had a single and a double in the game while Barr hit two singles. Travis and Tish each had a single.
The Cardinals (14-18) finish the regular season tonight at home against Boone. First pitch is at 7:30 p.m. at Woodland Park.
Newton opens Class 4A playoff action Friday against Ankeny Centennial in a first-round game at 7 p.m. at Northview Middle School in Ankeny.
Other first-round games in the substate tournament are Des Moines North at Urbandale and Des Moines Roosevelt at Johnston.