COVINGTON - If it's true that a team learns more from a loss than a win, then Newton must have a lifetime of knowledge after losing to Luella 17-3 in Thursday's game at Riverside Park.
"You learn more from losses than you do wins - we learned a lot," Newton coach Ty Hensley said. "I learned that we're hanging pitches, we need to do a better job locating pitches, we can't have walks, we have to make routine plays, (like) ground balls. Defensively, we had three errors, and we can't let that happen."
The Lions ended the game with 15 hits while being walked five times, getting hit by the pitcher four times and only striking out once.
The Rams, on the other hand, also were walked five times but only got hit once while striking out six times. They finished the game with five hits.
"We're not getting timely hits or getting runners on," Hensley said. "I was telling them that we have to be more disciplined at the plate. We're getting too far behind in the count. Unfortunately, we're being complacent. We need to get over the hump."
Nick Hembree paced the Rams with two hits, including one of two Newton home runs.
The other home run was hit by Brian Breckon in the fifth inning.
Also getting hits were Ethan Robertson and Job Cannon.
After a scoreless first inning, the Lions took a 2-0 lead with one run coming off a wild pitch and the other runner getting on base as a result of an error.
Newton cut Luella's lead to 2-1 following a solo shot by Hembree.
Luella added two more runs in the fourth inning before sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring six more times, including a grand slam by DJ Wilson, to make it 10-1 in the top of the fifth.
"I think that grand slam was a momentum killer," Hensley said.
Even though the Rams were down, they were not ready to throw in the towel as Breckon made it 10-2 in the bottom of the fifth with a home run.
Despite the willingness to fight on, the Lions put the game even farther out of reach scoring seven runs off six hits in the sixth inning.
Hembree scored Newton's final run after Breckon got walked with bases loaded.
Of Luella's 15 hits, seven were for extra bases.
"We have to make good pitches; we have to stay low," Henslet said. "We're not going to blow the ball by anybody. We have to hit our spots and we just didn't."
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.