NEWTON — Nine became a big number for Newton’s Cardinals Wednesday night. They left nine runners in scoring position during their final regular-season game at home.
Stranding base runners throughout the home contest resulted in a 5-3 loss to Boone. After giving up a 3-1 lead to the Toreadors in the top of the fourth, the Cardinals had two on and two out in the fourth and did not score.
In the fifth and sixth innings, Newton’s leadoff hitter reached base. Again, the Cardinals weren’t able to produce runs. They were retired in order in the seventh inning.
Newton was looking for a good bounce into Friday’s opening round of Iowa Class 4A Substate Tournament action. It had won Tuesday night.
The Cardinals (14-19) play Ankeny Centennial (20-19) at 7 p.m. Friday at Northview Middle School in Ankeny. Ankeny Centennial broke a seven-game skid Tuesday, winning the second game of a doubleheader at Fort Dodge, 14-9.
Other first-round games in the Class 4A Substate 7 tournament are Des Moines North at Urbandale and Des Moines Roosevelt at Johnston.
The winning teams advance to the second round where the highest-seeded team remaining earns a bye and the other two teams play a substate semifinal on Monday. The substate championship game is Wednesday, July 23.
In their final home game of the season, the Cardinals struck first with a run in the first innings. Chandler Sturtz drew a leadoff walk and Tyler Wood singled to right field. With one gone, Evan Shimon’s fly ball to left field plated Sturtz.
Boone tied the score with a run in the third on a triple and a ground-out. Newton responded with a two-run bottom of the third.
Wood reached on an error followed by a single by Derek Wrage. Drew Stout came in as a courtesy runner for Wrage. Shimon delivered an RBI single and Michael Barr was safe on an error to load the bases. Mike McCormick drove in a run on a ground-out.
The Toreadors produced three runs to claim a 4-3 lead on a Newton error and four consecutive hits in the fourth. The Cardinals turned a double play and Sturtz, who was the NHS starting pitcher, recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
Boone added an insurance run in the fifth.
Wrage and Wood each had two singles in the game for the Cardinals. Hitting a single each were Shimon, Connor Gholson and McCormick.