Newsoms Pony takes tournament crown

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 20, 2008

special to the tidewater news

WAVERLY—Having finished the regular season in second place, the Newsoms Pony team entered the Southampton-Sussex Baseball League championship game as the “under-dog” against undefeated and regular season champion Wakefield.

Wakefield had swept the regular season series between the two teams with scores of 8-4 and 12-3 but was unable to take the championship in a well played game by both teams.

Wakefield struck early in the bottom of the first inning, hitting back to back home runs by P.J. Jones and Ty Johnson.

Wakefield appeared to be on track to capture another game and championship but that would be all the runs Newsoms pitcher Josh Riddick would allow.

Riddick scattered two hits and struck out seven batters over the course of the next five innings. Riddick was aided by strong defense as there were no errors committed and several outstanding plays made in the field for Newsoms.

Newsoms was able to get on base during the first three innings but left five base-runners in scoring position stranded.

Finally, in the top of the fifth, Newsoms put together a big inning, scoring four runs on four hits.

With one out, Mason Wright hit a triple down the rightfield line. Wright scored on the next pitch as Zachary Vann drove a double down the leftfield line.

Will Hawthorne followed with a chopper to second base that was fielded by Wakefield’s Caleb Atkins. Atkins’ attempt to throw out Vann at third was not in time, leaving runners on the corners.

Riddick then put Newsoms on top 3-2 with a shot into rightfield for a two run double. He advanced to third as the attempted throw to get Hawthorne at home plate was off the mark. Riddick would score the final run of the game when Jeffrey Vincent hit a ground ball that appeared to make it through but was fielded on the edge of the outfield grass by Wakefield’s Ty Johnson.

The throw was on the mark but Vincent was called “safe” allowing Riddick to score.

Riddick returned to the mound to face the top of Wakefield’s line-up in the fifth and sixth inning. With help from his defense, he prevented the next five batters from reaching base.

In the bottom of the sixth, Riddick struck out the first two batters.

The game was called because of thunderstorm which gave cause for Newsoms to celebrate.