STERLING – It didn’t take long for the Newman baseball team to realize things were going to be mighty difficult in its season opener against Hall.
The Red Devils put on a hitting clinic, especially early on, and rolled to a 24-12, 5-inning victory against the Comets on Monday afternoon.
Hall (2-0) rapped out 19 hits and scored at least two runs in each inning.
“We were able to jump on them quickly, didn’t sit on the lead and get complacent which was a good thing because they strung some against us later in the game,” Hall coach Tom Keegan said. “Nice to see us sting a few but this one is over and Thursday could be a completely different game so we’ll turn our attention towards that.”
Leading the Red Devils’ hit parade was senior catcher Brant Vanaman, who was 5-for-6 with two home runs, a double, seven runs batted in and four runs scored. He hit a 3-run homer in the top of the first inning, and added a 2-run shot in the fourth.
“I just wanted to stay relaxed and focus on getting the ball in the air,” said Vanaman, a Kent State recruit. “The whole team hit the ball well. If we try to do too much, we’ll start rolling over ground balls. We hit well, and the score shows it.”
Hall seized control with 11 runs in the top of the first, when they sent 15 batters to the plate. The top four batters in the Devils’ lineup (Ty Rybarczyk, Vanaman, Illinois recruit Cam McDonald and Jimmy DeAngelo) combined to go 6-for-6 with a walk, a hit batsman and eight runs scored in the inning.
Rybarczyk, the leadoff batter, reached base five times and scored four runs, while DeAngelo was 5-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored.
Newman starter Drew Ackman (0-1) retired just two of the 12 men he faced and took the loss.
“Hall’s probably a top-six team in Class 2A,” Newman coach Tom Wilson said. “They’re really a good ball team, they’re great hitters, and they deserved a win. They did a really good job tonight.”
The Comets scored single runs in each of the first three innings, after which they trailed 20-3. Newman (0-1) broke through with nine runs in its half of the fourth, as Hall reliever Chance Resetich (1 IP, 8 R, 8 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, HBP) had trouble finding the plate.
Brycen Bartel and Gehrig Koerner each had 2-run singles to highlight the uprising. Bartel drove in three runs to pace the Comets’ attack, while Landen Vesley, Luke Olson, Travis Williams and Ackman each scored two runs.