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Rams beaten handily
Union Grove gets 17 hits, prevails over Newton 12-4

COVINGTON - The Rams were unable to get anything going against Union Grove as they were outhit by almost a 3-1 margin in their 12-4 loss on Wednesday at Riverside Park.

Newton had seven hits compared to 17 for the Wolverines.

"We've gotten better every time we hit the field except for (Wednesday). We hit a wall," said Newton coach Ty Hensley. "I don't know if it was spring break."

Newton started out slow defensively as Union Grove scored two runs in the top of the first inning on four hits.

The Rams were able to keep the game close with Joe Cannon scoring on a Clay Johnson ground out in the bottom of the inning to make it a 2-1 ballgame.

Newton's defense held strong for three innings before the Wolverines scored four runs in the fifth.

Newton pitcher Nick Hembree was able to help his own cause with a two-run home run to keep Union Grove within reach.

But the Wolverines were able to respond in the top of the next inning with two runs of their own to maintain a commanding edge.

"That took the wind out of our sails," Hensley said. "We can't give up. We didn't hit our spots well. We stayed up in the zone all day."

Newton responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth before Union Grove ran up the score, crossing the plate four more times in the seventh inning.

Cannon and Hembree paced Newton offensively with two hits each.

In five innings of work, Hembree allowed 10 hits without registering a walk or strikeout.

Jordan Aiken and Ryan Griffin went 4-for-5 to lead Union Grove at the plate.

"Our goal was 7-0 (in the region), but we made a mistake. We have to go back and win the rest of them," Hensley said.

"This can be damaging. They can go out there and act like they've never played or they can be mentally prepared. It's up to them."

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