CLINTON, Iowa – Newman's young team is growing up fast.
The Comets managed just one win in their first 11 games. Wednesday, they broke through with win No. 2, and Thursday they made it two straight.
Thursday at Ashford University Field, home of the Class A minor league Clinton LumberKings, Newman defeated Amboy 11-6 in a Three Rivers clash.
"A lof of us were getting frustrated because we were underachieving at the plate and in the field," said Newman's Michael Ely, who was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. "It feels good to finally get things together."
The Comets (3-10, 2-4) broke a 6-6 tie with a five-run sixth. All five runs and eight of Newman's 11 were unearned.
Quincy Coomes and Colin McGinn had RBI singles in the inning. A.J. Sharp scored on an error, when Shayne Allen's two-out fly ball to left with no runs yet across, was dropped by Jackson Sorrells.
Allen scored on the back end of a double-steal, and Trevor Bolin later scored on a wild pitch.
"We finally stopped the bleeding a little bit," said McGinn, who was 3-for-3 with three RBIs. "We've been putting too much pressure on ourselves. We're getting more confidence. It's definitely contagious. You can feel it in the dugout."
Andrew Klein's two-run single gave Amboy (10-9, 3-6) a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
McGinn's two-run double and Ely's RBI single put Newman up 3-2 after one inning.
The Clippers went up 4-3 on Bailey Appleman's two-run double in the second.
Alex Buhler pulled the Comets even at 4-4 with an inside-the-park home run in the fourth. Buhler laced a shot to left-center that got by Sorrells, who was in center at the time. As the ball rolled to the wall, Buhler raced around the bases.
Third-base coach Dan Crawford put up the stop sign when Buhler reached third, but he ran the red light and scored with relative ease.
The Comets grabbed a 6-4 lead with two runs in the fifth, with Bolin and Ely providing RBI singles. Bolin's came on a fly ball to left that appeared to be lost in the lights by Klein.
Amboy tied it again with a two-run sixth. Tyson Powers greeted Buhler, who relieved McGinn, with a two-run single.
Powers was the Clippers starting pitcher. He allowed six runs, three earned, on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three.
"We came in here 2 nights and played the same way," Powers said of his team's games in Clinton. "We've had costly errors and we walked people, and it just compounds. Earlier we were playing to win. Now we're sitting back playing not to lose."
Buhler (1-1) got the win in relief, hurling 1 2/3 shutout innings. McGinn started for the Comets and allowed six runs, all earned, on four hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six.
"I felt bad for them. They had a couple two-out errors," said Newman coach Tom Wilson, whose team out-hit Amboy 13-6. "They helped us win the game. But, this is a big stepping stone for us. Tyson's a hell of a pitcher. He's one of the most quality kids in the Three Rivers."
Side-armer Chuck Deininger took the loss, allowing five runs, all unearned, on four hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.
Star of the game: Colin McGinn, Newman, 3-for-3, 3 RBIs, 5 1/3 innings of 4-hit ball
Key performers: Michael Ely, Newman, 3-for-4, 2 RBIs; Tyson Powers, Amboy, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs
Up next: Amboy at Fulton, 4:30 p.m. today; Newman at Riverdale (DH), 10 a.m. Saturday