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Despite loss to Redan, Newton earns playoff spot

COVINGTON - Despite losing 17-13 to Redan on Friday at Riverside Park, Newton's baseball team is still Class AAAAA playoff bound.

For the Rams to make the playoffs, Luella needed to beat M.L. King and Newton had to either beat Redan or lose by less than eight runs - both of which happened.

"We got in there on a loophole but at least we've got the opportunity to get to state," Newton coach Ty Hensley said. "Everything happens for a reason. I totally feel like they deserved that win. It's tough, our pitchers threw their hearts out. They're probably the hottest team hitting in our region right now."

The Raiders had a chance to keep Newton from making the playoffs for the fourth-straight year after scoring 10 runs in the second inning.

However, Newton came back in the home half of the second to score three runs, but Redan added four runs in the fourth inning to take an 11-run lead.

"They have a lot of character, a lot of heart. You can't really coach that. They wanted it real bad," Hensley said.

The Rams cut the lead back to 10 in the third before coming alive in the fourth to score six runs.

Redan's top pitcher, Joseph McCrary, began fading, allowing the Rams to take advantage of the situation.

With Newton trailing 14-7, Brian Breckon put the ball out of the park for a three-run dinger.

Errors almost kept the Rams from staying under the magic number as Redan scored two runs on a fielding error and a third on a wild pitch to make it 17-10 in the sixth.

But in the bottom of the inning, Breckon was able to deliver again with a two-run single to make it 17-12.

Newton added one more to its tally in the seventh.

"With Brian Breckon you can look at him and tell if he's in the game or not. (Friday night) he was stone cold, he was ready. He was the ice man," Hensley said. "You can see it in his face. When he's ready to hit, he leaves no doubt"

Breckon had five RBIs, going 3-for-4 with a home run.

Also going 3-for-4, including two doubles, was Chad Johnson.

DJ Hill and Job Cannon had two hits each with Travis McDonald getting a double.

As a team, the Rams finished with 15 hits.

Redan had 17 hits including two home runs and a double.

"I'm thinking that if we had blown them out of the water we may have gone into the first round (of the playoffs) a little too cocky," Hensley said. "Maybe we'll go in there level headed and keep hitting. Hopefully, our pitchers will be able to battle a little better."

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