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Newton gets win off Rockdale mistakes

Staff photo: Manny Fils  Newton pitcher Shawn Guckenberger tries to get a strike during the second inning of Wednesday's game against Rockdale.

Staff photo: Manny Fils Newton pitcher Shawn Guckenberger tries to get a strike during the second inning of Wednesday's game against Rockdale.

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Staff photo: Manny Fils Shawn Guckenberger (15) keeps an eye on the ball as Rockdale catcher Davis Foster watches the defense make a play during Wednesday's game at Newton.

COVINGTON -- Newton only had two hits against Rockdale, but that was all it needed as the Bulldogs committed seven errors allowing the Rams to win their first game of Region 2-AAAAAA play 7-1 on Wednesday.

"That's the game of baseball," Newton head coach Vince Byams said. "If you can minimize your mistakes and be able to capitalize on your opponent's mistakes you can win some games. By putting the bat on the ball and capitalizing on their mistakes we scored some runs."

The Rams (2-4, 1-0) got their first run when Mason Callaway took advantage of a Rockdale (3-4, 0-1) mistake in the bottom of the first inning. Newton would tack on four more runs to their side of the scoreboard in the second inning, three coming off errors, to take a 5-0 lead.

"We've been playing really well on defense," Rockdale head coach Justin Arrington said. "We knew eventually we were going to make a couple of errors but this just kind of had a snowball effect. Once we tightened up around the third or fourth inning we did really well.

"Phil (Anschutz) pitched his butt off for us, but we had trouble making some of the plays we've normally been making in the field. That kind of got us in a hole."

Rockdale had a chance to cut into Newton's lead and possibly get the momentum on its side in the sixth inning. But with bases loaded and one out, the Rams were able to turn a double play to end the threat.

"That was a momentum game changer," Byams said. "The freshman, Victor Medina, and Tristan McInerney, our junior, came through with the double play was huge."

Even though they lost, Rockdale was able to get one more hit than Newton. Hitting their way on base for Rockdale were Yancey Freeny, Malachi Eskin and Tyler Page.

"We cut down on strikeouts, we had two, but when we hit the ball in play we seemed to hit it right to them. I told them if they keep putting the ball in play the eyes will find it eventually," Arrington said.

Getting the two hits for the Rams were Jeremy Laguins and M.J. Boykin.

Newton had its share of errors with three but it was able to make the plays so it did not hurt them.

"It's always good to start off region play with a win," Byams said. "We know that if we do make mistakes we have each other's backs to bounce back from some of the things we do wrong."