Newton takes 5-2A pennant
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
April 12, 2002
NEWTON – The Newton Tigers captured the Division 5-2A baseball championship with a 3-2 win over Clarkdale Thursday night. Both teams will make the state playoffs which begin next week.
Newton improved to 15-6 overall and 8-0 in 5-2A, while Clarkdale dropped to 12-14 and 4-2.
Trailing 2-1, Newton got a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth to ease past the Bulldogs. For the Tigers, it was a case of reaching their second goal they set before the season began.
Brent McMillan (6-3) allowed only four hits in getting the win. The East Central Community College signee struck out 12 and walked four. For the year, he has 84 strikeouts and only 21 walks. One of his losses was a 2-1 10-inning decision to West Lauderdale. McMillan has been picked for the Crossroads Diamond Club's 1A/2A/3A All-Star Baseball Game this summer.
Tune, who entered the game with a .377 batting average, has also inked with ECCC.
Clarkdale took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Michael Davis led off with a double and scored when Justin Brewer's single was misplayed in left field. The second run came home on a ground out by Justin Hinson.
Newton cut its deficit in half in the bottom of the fourth. McMillan doubled with one out to break up Brewer's bid for a perfect game. Poole followed with an RBI-double. Dusty Hines reached on an error to start the Newton sixth. With two outs, a single by Poole drove in Hines to tie the game at 2-2. After Poole stole second, Austin Bonds followed with a game-winning RBI-double.
Bonds was batting .500 over his last three games prior to Thursday.
Clarkdale was unable to take advantage of Brewer's five-hitter in which he struck out seven and did not allow a walk. Only one of Newton's runs was earned.
Clarkdale will face Loyd Star in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs.
Brewer's effort also impressed Pierce. "He's a solid left-handed pitcher. He's going to put the ball across the plate and make you hit the ball."
Newton will face either St. Andrew's or McLaurin in the first round of the playoffs. Clarkdale will host Kemper County tonight at 6 p.m.