Varsity Kansas

Senior-laden Newton baseball playing well

NEWTON —If team chemistry leads to championships, then Newton's tight-knit group could be destined to be a tough matchup for any club in its path leading to a Class 5A baseball title.

Out of its 12-man roster, 10 players handed a ceremonial bouquet of flowers their parents on senior night on Tuesday. Those 10 players grew up playing ball together. Those 10 players entered Newton's halls as freshmen the same time that coach Mark George took the job. And after four years of playing at the high school level, those 10 players have put together a formula for winning that's undeniable.

"Right away I knew that this was going to be a special group of seniors," George said. "We've always been pretty successful here, but we've never had this many seniors. The players before them did a great job of establishing expectations of what we want to do at the Newton program, and these guys bought in from Day 1. They've continued to progress and get better every single game."

Newton swept it's doubleheader against Campus Tuesday, winning 14-7 in Game 1 and following it with 5-2 victory. With the sweep, Newton improved to 15-1 on the season and solidified its division lead in the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division II.

"It's real special with this group of guys," Newton center fielder Storm Marlar said. "Growing up with them and playing ball with them pretty much our whole lives. We get a lot of team chemistry out of that. That's how we're able to be (15-1). We just have good chemistry."

Newton shortstop Evan Thomas hit for the cycle in the first game and completed the rarity by legging out a triple in the bottom of the sixth inning. He admitted that when he stepped up to the plate the only thing he had on his mind was "triple."

"The whole time. Right when I hit, I didn't care what coach said I was going for it now matter what," Thomas said. "That was pretty sweet. It was the first time I ever hit for the cycle that's for sure."

Thomas said his team's success is due to its ability to regulate emotions during a game. It has translated on the field.

"We try to stay steady," Thomas said. "We don't try to be like a roller coaster with our momentum, going up and down. You can't get excited if you get up on someone, you've just got to stay steady."

Newton will be tested in its final two series of the regular season, with doubleheaders against AV-CTL rivals Winfield and Hutchinson remaining on its schedule.

Newton 14, Campus 7

Campus031 021 0 — 7 13 1 Newton406 301 x — 14 13 2

W—Briar 5-0. L—Meier.

Newton 5, Campus 2

Campus010 100 0 — 2 5 0 Newton001 013 x — 5 7 1

W—Marlar 4-1. L—Flax.