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Trojans clip Golden Eagles' wings in baseball

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Trey Turner of the New Castle High School baseball team gets ready to fire a pitch toward the plate against a Guerin Catholic batter during Friday evening’s game at Sunnyside Field. Turner, a senior, got his first career start, hurled 4 2/3 innings, struck out six batters, and earned the win as the Trojans defeated the visiting Golden Eagles 15-8.
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Bryce Pinkard of the New Castle High School baseball team leads off first base after singling in the Trojans’ first run during Friday evening’s game against visiting Guerin Catholic at Sunnyside Field. Pinkard went 4-for-4 at the plate, scored three runs, had three RBI, and finished up on the mound by throwing 2 1/3 innings and struck out three batters as the Trojans defeated the Golden Eagles 15-8 in a game that took 2:32 to play.
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New Castle’s Jordan Mantor (4), Guerin Catholic catcher Luke Godfrey (12), and the home plate umpire observe where Mantor’s batted ball goes during the bottom of the third inning of Friday evening’s baseball game at Sunnyside Field. An error by the visiting Golden Eagles on the play opened the floodgates for seven unearned Trojan runs in the frame, which proved to be the difference in New Castle’s 15-8 win.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

The New Castle High School baseball team won its fourth straight game Friday evening at Sunnyside Field as it defeated visiting Guerin Catholic 15-8.

The Trojans improved to 4-2 for the season while the Golden Eagles dropped to 2-3.

It was the first time the two schools had met on the diamond, and may not be the last this year as the two schools are among the six-team field of Class 3A Sectional 24, which will be contested at Yorktown in May.

“Both of us are new to that sectional and we’ve never seen Guerin,” New Castle Coach Brad King said afterward. “They are guided by a Hall of Fame Coach (Brad Lantz) who used to be at Cathedral, so we knew he’d have them well-prepared. We just had to go out, establish ourselves, and show that we were a force to be reckoned with. I was pleased with the way we attacked the ball on offense and our aggressiveness on the bases.”

Senior Trey Turner started on the mound for New Castle and got into a one-out jam in the top of the first inning. Bennett Ely singled to centerfield, Jake Andriole walked on four pitches, and Turner plunked Luke Godfrey with a 3-1 pitch to fill the sacks.

Two passes balls plated both Ely and Andriole For a 2-0 Guerin Catholic lead and Sam Joyal walked on a 3-2 pitch putting runners on the corners with still only one out.

But Turner induced the next batter to fly out and then struck out the hitter following that to get out of the inning with no further damage.

That Golden Eagle advantage didn’t last long and the Trojans took the lead for good in their half of the first inning off Golden Eagle starting pitcher Sam Lewandowski. Rylan Huntley led off with a single to left field, and one out later Janson Anderson singled to short right field, taking second on the throw-in as Huntley dashed to third base.

Bryce Pinkard singled to left to drive in Rylan Huntley and Bryce Huntley followed with a single to right to plate Anderson and tie the game at 2-all. With two away, Logan Cline’s single to right field drove in Pinkard, and Triston Chesher followed with a single to plate Bryce Huntley, giving the hosts a 4-2 lead.

Not much happened in the second inning. Turner issued a two-out free pass the Golden Eagles’ Keenan Taylor in the top of the frame, and Rylan Huntley singled to lead off the last of the inning. Neither scored.

Guerin Catholic pulled a run closer in the top of the third inning. Andriole led off with an infield single but was forced out at second base on Godfrey’s fielder’s choice grounder, with Godfrey reaching second after a throwing error on the play.

Turner whiffed the next batter for the second out, but Nate Bingman’s single to center drove in Godfrey to trim the Trojan advantage to 4-3.

New Castle scored seven unearned runs with two away in the bottom of the third. Pinkard led off with a double to right field on a 3-2 pitch with Colin Holcomb coming in to courtesy run for him. Bryce Huntley walked on a 3-2 pitch and both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball.

Lewandowski struck out the next two batters, but hit Chesher with a pitch, filling the bags. Jordan Mantor’s hard-hit grounder was muffed by the fielder and Holcomb and Bryce Huntley scored to boost the Trojan lead to 6-3. Chesher took third on the play and Mantor arrived at second base after the throw-in.

Rylan Huntley’s bloop hit to short right field plated Chesher and Mantor. Matt Parenteau came in to pitch for the Golden Eagles and Huntley took second on a wild pitch and scored when Hunter McCubbins’ ground ball was booted for an error. McCubbins took second base on the play. Nic Besecker came in to courtesy run for McCubbins.

Anderson singled to left field to move Besecker to third, from where he scored on a single to centerfield by Pinkard. Bryce Huntley’s grounder to the shortstop was botched for another error, and Anderson came in to score to boost the Trojan advantage to 11-3.

Guerin Catholic got two of those runs back in the top of the fourth. Ely reached base on a two-out error and Andriole parked a 2-1 Turner pitch over the right field fence for a two-run homer, pulling the visitors to within 11-5.

After Chesher walked but didn’t score in an uneventful last of the fourth inning, the Golden Eagles scored twice in the top of the fifth to make the score closer.

With one out, Owen Hargrave singled to right field and stole second base. Turner induced the next batter to pop to second base for the second out, but Brendan Downey’s single to right drove in Hargrave.

Downey stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch. Taylor doubled to left field on a 3-2 pitch to plate Downey and pull Guerin Catholic to within 11-7.

Pinkard came in to relieve Turner on the mound and got the next batter to pop to second baseman Bryce Huntley to retire the side.

“I thought Trey Turner did a really good job in his first career start,” King explained, “as he usually has been a relief pitcher for us. He was a little nervous at first, but settled down and did a fine job after that.”

New Castle added four more runs in the last of the fifth and had a good chance to end the game under the 10-run rule, but failed to do so. Rylan Huntley led off with a five-pitch walk and Parenteau plunked McCubbins with a pitch.

Downey came in to pitch for the Golden Eagles and gave up three consecutive infield singles to Anderson, Pinkard, and Bryce Huntley, which plated Rylan Huntley and McCubbins and loaded the bases with no outs.

A four-pitch walk to Jackson Malott drove in Anderson, and Pinkard scored on a wild pitch to extend the Trojan lead to 15-7. But Downey bore down and struck out the next three batters, stranding runners in scoring position.

The visitors got two runners aboard in the top of the sixth on a hit batsman and an error, but didn’t score. Chesher got on with a one-out infield single off Bingman in the last of the sixth, but was erased on an inning-ending double play.

Guerin Catholic scored its final run in its last at-bat in the top of the seventh. With one out, Pinkard walked Dom Giovanni, Taylor, and Ely in succession to load the sacks. Pinkard fanned the next batter for the second out, but walked Josh Schaaf to plate Giovanni to make the score 15-8.

Pinkard then got the final out on a pop-up to Bryce Huntley at second base to end the game after an elapsed time of 2:32.

Turner was the winning pitcher in his first-ever start, hurling 4 2/3 innings and striking out six batters. Pinkard worked 2 1/3 innings and fanned three hitters.

New Castle hosted Richmond in a doubleheader Saturday entertains Pendleton Heights Monday.

“We have a heavy schedule coming up,” King added, “with seven games scheduled over the next week. We’ll have to come out ready to play every day or we’ll have it handed to us. There are no easy areas in our schedule.”