Rams waste Loftin's solid pitch­ing ef­fort

The Covington News - - Sports - BEAU MCCRAINIE Spe­cial to The News

De­spite Tripp Loftin’s out­stand­ing pitch­ing per­for­mance, New­ton dropped a re­gion game 6-2 to the New­nan Cougars Fri­day night at home. Only one of New­nan’s two hits off Loftin left the in­field, but an er­ror-filled fifth in­ning doomed the Rams and dropped their re­gion record to 1-2.

Over six in­nings, Loftin yielded only one earned run. The Rams came back from an early 1-0 deficit on a two-run homer by Ryan Mccranie. But New­ton’s fail­ure to field bunts and three straight er­rors re­sulted in a three-run fifth for the Cougars that pro­vided the mar­gin of vic­tory.

Af­ter sur­ren­der­ing four walks and one earned run in the first two in­nings, Tripp stead­ied the ship record­ing four strike­outs with an­other 10 of his outs on balls kept in the in­field.

“It was pretty ob­vi­ous what hap­pened tonight,” New­ton coach Vin­cent By- ams said. “Tripp Loftin pitched a great game giv­ing up only one hit out of the in­field, but we didn’t play good de­fense to sup­port him.”

While the Rams com­mit­ted six er­rors, New­nan played er­ror-free base­ball and ex­cel­lent small-ball.

In the top of the first, Loftin walked the first two bat­ters. A bunt back to the pitcher was fielded cleanly, but the run­ner from sec­ond was safe at third on the force play at­tempt. The Cougar clean-up hit- ter grounded out to first scor­ing the run from third. Loftin got out of the in­ning with no fur­ther dam­age, strik­ing out the next hit­ter and get­ting the third out on a ground out.

Allen Bowen and Mccranie led the Ram of­fense, both go­ing 2-fo-3. In the bot­tom of the fourth, Bowen led off with a dou­ble to deep right field. Mccranie fol­lowed with his fourth home run of the year to left. Sher­man Graves was hit

by a pitch, but New­ton could do no more dam­age as they took a 2-1 lead go­ing to the fifth.

In the top of the fifth, Loftin al­lowed a walk and an in­field hit. An in­field er­ror on a po­ten­tial dou­ble play loaded the bases. Suc­cess­ful bunts scored runs on sui­cide squeeze plays. Com­pound­ing the suc­cess­ful squeeze plays, the Rams made things worse by com­mit­ting er­rors on the plays to first, al­low­ing New­nan run­ners to scam­per around the bases to re­cap­ture the lead at 4-2.

In the top of the sixth an­other Ram er­ror al­lowed the first hit­ter to reach base and New­nan put two run­ners at sec­ond and third af­ter a walk and sac­ri­fice bunt. But a grounder to first and sparkling div­ing catch in right by Sher­man Graves ended the Cougar half of the in­ning.

The Rams put two run­ners on in the bot­tom of the sixth, but were un­able to bring them in to score. Then in the top of the sev­enth a lead-off sin­gle was fol­lowed by the Ram’s final er­ror of the game to put two on with no outs. Mccranie came on in re­lief and got the first two outs be­fore giv­ing up a sin­gle that scored both Cougar run­ners. The Rams were re­tired in or­der in the bot­tom of the sev­enth, end­ing the game.

The Rams dropped to 1-2 in re­gion 2-AAAAA play and 5-6 over­all. New­nan im­proved to 30 in the re­gion and 8-1 over­all. New­ton plays Archer at home Wed­nes­day in non-re­gion play and trav­els to Langston Hughes and East Coweta on Tues­day and Fri­day for re­gion games.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.