March 28th, 2018

McClinton and Newkirk lead Colts past North Bullitt

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

McClinton and Newkirk lead Colts past North Bullitt
Luke McClinton throws a pitch / photo by Conor Revell

A senior and a freshman led the DeSales baseball team to their second straight win.

Freshman pitcher Luke McClinton made his first career start while senior Sam Newkirk reached base every plate appearance as the Colts knocked off visiting North Bullitt 8-6 Monday night.

Newkirk reached base four times, went 3 for 3 with a single, double, and a solo homerun, and drove in two runs.

“In pregame batting practice, Coach (T.J.) Cataldo was preaching first pitch fastball,” Newkirk said. “I had that first pitch fastball right down the middle and I hit it. I knew it would be there and I hit it hard.”

There were only two home runs hit at Rex Robinson Field all last year.

“For whatever reason, the ball is traveling a little bit different this year,” DeSales head coach T.J. Cataldo said. “We as a staff has preached to be aggressive, be aggressive, and be aggressive. Sam took our advice and jumped on a pitch that was right down the middle for him.”

McClinton received the game ball and pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs, four earned, six hits, struck out three, and walked one.

“I was using mostly my two-seam fastball,” McClinton said. “I mixed in my changeup from time to time.”

Through five innings, McClinton didn’t allow a run, and gave up only one run in the first five innings.

“Impressive start, we set him up for a region game first outing,” Cataldo said. “You could tell from the beginning he was a little bit nervous, but he threw mainly strikes. We hit the ball well early which helped him relax a bit. That was a good performance for his first varsity pitching appearance. His pitch count was low and he was very efficient.”

Jordan Lacy also had a hit and two RBIs for the Colts (2-1) while Noah Lawless walked twice, had a hit, and drove in a run, Drew Smith, and Jayden Scroggins both had a hit, and Garrett Matthews drove in a run.

DeSales went up 3-0 in the first inning. Newkirk hit a solo homer over the left field fence to make it 1-0. Smith walked and scored on a North Bullitt error when Lawless hit a double.

“We were coming up there aggressive and we were ready to hit,” Newkirk said. “When we got the pitch we wanted, we hit it really hard. When we got that perfect pitch we blasted it.”

Evan Hulsmeyer hit a grounder and Lawless scored on another Eagle error.

The Colts made it 5-0 adding a run in both the fourth and fifth innings.

“In our first two games we were not aggressive at the plate,” Cataldo said. “We struggled a bit. Over the weekend at practice and today before the game we kept telling them to be aggressive. We want to be an aggressive team. Some days it may work, some days it might not. Today, it worked out for us.”

North Bullitt (0-2) fought back and cut the DeSales lead to 5-4 in the sixth inning.

“I was a little nervous, but I knew my team had my back,” McClinton said. “I just had to go out and throw strikes.”

The Colts added four more runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-4 before North Bullitt added two more to decide the final margin.

“We were jumping on that first pitch fastball,” Lawless said. “It’s not going to be like that every game. Bunting is going to be very important because we don’t have a lot of over the fence power.”

Riley Hall led North Bullitt with two hits while Alec Lush had a hit and two runs batted in, Jace Wilson and Drew Wheatley both recorded a hit and had an RBI, and Logan Wise and Bryce Saylor both had one hit.

McClinton got the win for DeSales while Ethan Meecha replaced the freshman and struck out the lone hitter he faced while Hulsmeyer threw an inning and gave up two runs, two hits, and struck out one.

“We kept telling the guys to keep working hard when North Bullitt cut our lead,” Cataldo said. “Meecha did a great job in relief and he has done that in all three of our games. Hulsmeyer has two saves on the year. You just have to keep working and grind everything out.”

Josh Wilson started for the Eagles and allowed four runs; three earned, walked three, and struck out three in four innings. Wheatley tossed 1 1/3 innings and gave up four runs; three earned, two hits, and walked five. Jonathan Henson pitched 2/3 of an inning and walked one and struck out one. 


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