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Graves goes distance against Lions for 9-1 win

COVINGTON -- Newton pitcher Sherman Graves pitched a complete game to get the 9-1 win over M.L. King at Riverside Park on Tuesday.

In seven innings of work, Graves fanned eight batters while allowing five hits and giving up two walks.

"He was lights out and gave us the opportunity to win," said Newton head coach Vincent Byams of Graves. "He's been pretty consistent all year about coming in and throwing strikes to give us the opportunity. We had the most out of those opportunities and played good defense behind him. He got ahead of the batters and that was excellent on his part."

Even though the Rams (7-10 overall, 3-5 in Region 2-AAAAA) started hitting the ball, getting six hits including a double by Ryan McCranie and a ground-rule double by Allen Bowen, it was their ability to take advantage of the Lions (3-10, 0-7) errors that made the difference.

Newton scored two runs in the first inning off a throwing error and a wild pitch. The Rams made it 5-0 in the bottom of the second on another bad throw before adding two more to their tally in the fourth because of an error.

A bad throw in the fifth made it 8-1 before McCraine give the Rams their first legitimate run in the sixth plating Daniel Groom.

McCraine had two hits to pace the Rams with Croome, Jeremy Laguins and Tristan McInerney also getting hits for the Rams.

"We've been practicing really hard with the weather getting warm and hopefully our bats are getting warm," Bryams said. "We put the ball in play. Obviously when you put nine runs on the board, it puts pressure on the other teams."

The win puts an end to Newton's four-game losing streak as it travels to Stephenson on Friday to continue region play.