After suffering defeat to Hickory on the baseball diamond once already this season, Newton-Conover was dealt the same fate again on Wednesday.
The Red Devils (1-2) allowed 10 runs to the Red Tornadoes and scored none in a mercy rule loss.
“Our team is so much better than 10-0,” said N-C coach Corey Nunley. “That’s not taking away from coach Craft’s Hickory team. I don’t think they are 10-0 better than us at all. They are good. Nine out of 10 times they might beat us, but we can keep it closer than 10-0.”
The Hickory bats started out hot. Catcher Barrett Miller doubled to score Ryan Garlow, then an RBI single from Nick Guarino plated another run.
The scoring continued in the second inning. Garlow drove in Connor Straus and scored later in the inning on an error in center field.
The Red Devils got their first base runner of the game in the third when Michael Woods drew a walk.
A double play, though, ended a chance to score.
Throughout the entire game, Newton-Conover struggled offensively, mustering just one hit — a single off the bat of Tyler Sawyer.
“Two games, three hits and 11 errors,” Nunley said of his team’s performances against Hickory. “The game before that (versus Freedom), we had 11 hits, eight runs and one error. We won that game 8-1. We get beat in the others 5-0 and 10-0. It made all the difference.”
Piling on the three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth, the Red Tornadoes closed out their five-inning victory with a hit by Davis Harvey that scored a pair of runners.
Harvey finished the game with two RBIs and two runs scored. Miller plated two RBIs on two hits.
Newton-Conover tries to rebound next week in its conference opener versus Maiden on Tuesday.
“This is our only game this week, and then we start conference,” Nunley said. “We have to play a lot better than we did tonight. We need to play closer to what we play like to be competitive in this tough league. If we don’t, it is going to be tough. If we do, we’re going to make a little noise in the conference. I believe that.”