Newman pitcher Allen Dennis said he didn’t have his best stuff early on Tuesday in the Greenies opening-round Class 2A playoff game against Many.
But the senior started hitting his stride in the third inning, on the mound and at the plate.
Dennis scattered seven hits over six innings and also blasted a two-run home run in the sixth to lead No. 11 Newman to a 7-1 victory over Many at Avenger Field.
“I struggled with my command at the beginning, but I found it after a couple innings,” said Dennis, a Loyola signee. “This was a big win for us. We are ready for the next round.”
Newman (17-9) advances to the second round to play Riverside in a best-of-three series. Riverside, which needed just five innings to defeat North Caddo 12-2 on Tuesday, beat District 12-2A foe Newman two out of three times during the regular season.
Dennis (10-2) finished with seven strikeouts. He struck out the side in the fourth and retired eight straight batters in one stretch.
That streak didn’t end until he gave up a solo homer in the sixth to Tyler Colston. But that was the only run the Tigers (18-12) would get.
“He has been lights out all year,” said Newman coach Trey Guillot, in his ninth season. “He battled without his best stuff and limited them to singles early.”
Alex Abramson led Newman going 3-for- 4 with a double and an RBI. Cass Lapeyere also had two hits and Jack Miller had an RBI double.
After scoring one run in the first, the Greenies scored all they would need in the third.
Lapeyre started it with an RBI single, and Michael Slatten followed with a sacrifice fly.
Newman and Riverside split the two games that counted in the district standings. Both of those games were decided by one run.
“We know what they are going to do, and they know what we are going to do, so we will just go out and play our best,” Guillot said.
Barbe 3, John Ehret 0: No. 32 Ehret, making its first playoff trip since 2012, fell to the top seed and defending Class 5A champions.
Ehret’s best chance to score came in the sixth inning, but the Patriots left the bases loaded.
Ehret finished the season 13-16 after winning the District 8-5A title.
Salmen 6, St. Thomas More 3: The Spartans, a No. 26 seed, pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the first round, eliminating No. 7 seed St. Thomas More.
Salmen advances to a second- round 4A series to play No. 10 Franklinton, which beat No. 23 Lakeshore 2-0 on Monday.
Franklinton beat Salmen twice (8-3 and 9-1) in District 8-4A play this season.