NEW CARLISLE - A day that began with the New Carlisle Newts hanging their 2018 Champions of Wiffleball banner ended with the grounds crew flying the green "L" flag over the iconic Migley Field scoreboard. The Newts opened up their 2019 season dropping two of three against the Olive Township Mechanics, 6-3, 0-9, 1-6.
Things started off well for New Carlisle, as Garrett Curless took the ball in game one. Curless limited the traffic on the base paths, holding the Mechanics to a trio of solo home runs.
Curless received plenty of run support from the Newts lineup, which got to Nate Arndt early. After Arndt helped himself with a second-inning home run to give the Mechanics the game's first score, New Carlisle responded with back-to-back-to-back jacks courtesy of Scott Soos, Ryan Galiher, and Zarek Finley.
Soos again homered in the fourth, while his brother Matt led off the fifth inning with a dinger. Galiher also belted one more in the fifth, as the Newts cruised to victory.
The good feelings didn't last long, as the wheels fell off in the second game. With Galiher on the mound for New Carlisle, the Mechanics scored one in the first followed by a five spot in the second. The big blow came when Arndt launched a three-run homer, scoring Garrett Ruiz and Colton Boren.
Olive Township added a run in each of the next three innings to make it 9-0, and most of the crowd of 22 left the sun-soaked friendly confines for more entertaining Sunday afternoon activities.
The Newts didn't find a hit off Mechanics pitcher Aidan Cotter until the fifth inning when Finley lined a singled to right field. Danny Hernandez followed with another base hit, but both runners were stranded as nothing came of the rally.
In the rubber game, Cotter again held New Carlisle to only two hits. For the Newts, Curless returned to the mound and matched Cotter in a pitcher's duel through regulation.
After allowing a home run to Arndt to lead off the game, Curless settled down to keep the Mechanics scoreless through the next five innings. At the plate, he delivered the Newts' only run with a solo blast in the second inning.
In extra innings, the New Carlisle defense failed their pitcher. Several misplays in the outfield led to an implosion, as the Mechanics pushed across five runs in the seventh inning to take a commanding 6-1 lead. The Newts went down without a fight in the bottom half, as the 1-2-3 inning capped a streak of 12 consecutive batters retired by Cotter.
New Carlisle (1-2) will head out on the road for a six-game road trip to Saugany Lake (May 15) and Scottsdale (May 19) before returning home to Migley Field on Sunday, May 26 to face the Lynn Street
As for Olive Township, the Mechanics will look to build off of their big series win as they will take on the (3-0) Lynn St. Leprechauns in Week 2. After being out of the league last year, Manager Aidan Cotter could not have asked for much better of a return to the league for his Mechanics.