Newton Recreation/Devils All-Stars dig themselves in 0-2 hole in first games of pool play

Newton Recreation baseball's Micah Haynes (13) running to second after hitting double on Thursday, July 18.
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

“(It was a) total different performance (on Wednesday) versus (Thursday) night’s game,” said Newton Recreation head coach/manager, Jody Sims.

That statement would definitely ring true as the Devils All-Star baseball team competed and lost its first two pool match-ups to North Carolina state champion Indian Trail, 5-0 on Wednesday, and to Virginia state champ Southwestern Youth, 17-1, on Thursday night.

In Thursday night’s contest at Lenoir-Rhyne University, SYA dominated on offense from the beginning. The Newton Rec. defense wasn’t able to hold up as the host-team gave up three runs on three hits in the top of the first inning.

Nevertheless, in the bottom of the frame, even though it didn’t get on the board -- as would be the theme for the remainder of the game -- the Devils All-Stars managed to pick up two base hits (one from Luke Sigmon and one from Connor Hice).

Defense just didn’t seem to be a factor for Newton Recreation as it would give up four runs in the top of the second inning capped off by a two-RBI single by Southwestern Youth.

Sigmon would start on the mound for the Devils All-Stars, but due to the frequent runs out of the gate by the opposition, he would be taken out midway through the second. Sigmon finished on the mound with one strikeout and two walks.

Hice would then enter as pitcher, and unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do much better. He was given about an inning on the mound and in that time he walked three and didn’t earn a strikeout.

On the offensive side, though, one of the best plays of the night came by way of first baseman, Andrew King. King knocked back a double for Newton in the second inning with hits coming somewhat few and far between as the host-team finished with six hits compared to SYA’s 15.

King would also follow up with a stolen base as he headed to third with Micah Haynes at bat. Unfortunately, his effort was moot as Haynes and left fielder, Zane Wilson struck out consecutively to end the bottom of the second.

Haynes would make up for it in the bottom of the fourth inning with a double of his own along with the lone run for Newton in the same frame, but a strong offensive display by SYA in the top of the third proved to be too much.

With the bases loaded, Haynes was able to come home after shortstop, DeMarcus Beatty picked up the base on balls.

Southwestern Youth scored seven runs on five hits in the third inning capped off by a two-run single and a two-run double to put itself ahead, 14-0, at the time. Two of its runs in the game also came on sacrifice fly RBIs.

These runs would come at the expense of Hice and closing pitcher, Isaac Kirkendall. Kirkendall would also pick up three hit-by-pitches, in addition to only striking out one and walking one.

The leading hitters for Newton Recreation were Hice, Sigmon, King and Haynes. Hice went 2-for-2 and Sigmon went 2-for-3, while King and Haynes both finished 1-for-2.

Although Newton’s in a hole, Sims said it’s not out of contention to play on Sunday yet, as it will look to get its first win on Saturday against Northern Fairfax (VA) at 2 p.m.