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Rams sink Eagles with 12-run sixth

COVINGTON - Newton sent 17 batters to the plate and scored 12 runs in the sixth inning as the Rams dominated Eastside 22-5 on Wednesday.

Although the sixth inning put the game totally out of reach for the Eagles, they never had a chance.

Eastside's pitchers gave up two home runs in the first inning and a Quenton Pooler grand-slam in the second.

In six innings of work, Eastside's six pitchers combined to give up 17 hits, eight walks and three hit batsmen.

"That was not close to what my pitching is capable of. It's a nonregion game, and we've got four games this week, three region games, and I'm not about to blow any of my pitching," Eastside coach Michael Poor said. "I'm not going to waste any of my quality pitching on a nonregion game, especially when we have 24 region games."

Besides home runs by Josh Cloer, Kinley Bryant and Pooler, the Rams also had doubles by Brian Breckon, Nick Hembree, Bryant and Pooler.

Bryant, Cloer and Breckon paced the Rams with three hits each, while Jason Knight and Pooler had two each.

While Newton did its fair share to beat Eastside, the Eagles contributed as well with six errors, three coming in the sixth inning.

"The errors, lack of hitting and general attitude from some players was unexcusable," Poor said.

The pitching of Newton's Chris Boyd had a lot to do with Eastside's lack of offense.

In five-plus innings on the mound, Boyd had four strikeouts while walking four and allowing two hits.

"He got the ball up, but once he settled down, he did what we think he could do - that's give us a chance," Newton coach Billy Roper said.

Newton jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a solo homer by Cloer and a two-run dinger by Bryant.

Eastside closed the gap to 3-1 when Jared Trust scored after a throw to first base ended up in the dugout.

Newton made it 7-1 in the second on Pooler's grand slam before scoring twice in the third.

"We started out early, jumped on them and put the pressure on them," Roper said. "That's what we wanted to do, score early and often. That's what we say."

The Eagles made it 10-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Newton committed three errors in the inning.

"We have to get better in infield. We're making way too many errors on the simple stuff," Roper said. "In a close game, that'll beat you. I'm pleased with us making contact, but we've got to get better defensively in the infield."

After Newton scored 12 runs in the top of the sixth, Eastside tried to get back into the game. Of the three runs scored by Eastside, two were the result of an error while the third came off a Travis Marks sacrifice fly.

"We were on the other end of that about a week ago. It gets to the point where you start feeling for the other team because it happened to us," Roper said. "Granted, don't get me wrong, you want to beat your crosstown rival. But baseball's like that. Some days you've got it and some days you don't. They didn't have it."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.