Don’t call it an upset, Southeastern baseball beats top-seeded Newton

The sectional tournament brackets list Southeastern High School’s victory over Newton as an upset. Trojans coach Craig Isaacs simply calls it Southeastern baseball.

Sixth-seeded Southeastern, behind senior Wesley Earles’ dominating effort on the mound, scratched out a run in the fifth inning for a 1-0 win against top-seeded Newton on Wednesday.

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The win puts Southeastern (8-14) in the Division IV sectional final against No. 4 Franklin-Monroe (11-9) 5 p.m. Wednesday at Duke Park in Troy.

“I think in our kids’ eyes it’s an upset. To me it’s not because I want them to believe this is the way Southeastern baseball is,” Isaacs said. “The way we’ve been playing all year, yes it is an upset. We have not been playing very good defense. We haven’t hit the ball very well. We’ve battled some injuries. … But when you have Wes on the hill we can beat anybody.”

After missed opportunities by both teams Southeastern finally broke through in the fifth.

Hayden Toops walked with one out, stole second and tried to score on Tyler King’s single to center field, the Trojans’ first hit of the game. Toops was narrowly thrown out a home. King then stole second. On his steal attempt to third the catcher’s throw skipped into left field allowing King to race home.

“It’s a big confidence boost for us,” King said of advancing. “We had a terrible regular season and we just haven’t had confidence. For something like this it’s really big for us.”

King came up clutch again in the sixth. Newton’s Charlie Walker reached on a grounder that went between the second baseman’s legs. But King threw Walker out attempting to steal second.

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“That was big, man. That was a big play,” Earles said. “That was him picking us up. Like Tyler said, it was a confidence booster. … We gotta know that person next to us we can trust them in any situation.”

Earles, a Wright State University commit, struck out 11 and walked four. He allowed two hits — a two-out double in the third and a two-out single in the fifth — and left six runners on base. Earles, who entered with a .171 earned-run average, has given up one earned run in about 50 innings pitched.

He escaped a jam in the second after loading the bases with a walk, a one-out walk and a two-out walk before inducing a pop up to first to end the threat.

“We knew we couldn’t worry about who we were playing or where we were playing,” Earles said. “We knew if we played our game and hit the ball when we needed to, got bunts down, did all the little things it’d be really tough to beat us.”

Southeastern left eight runners on base and had one caught stealing at third (second inning), one doubled off second after a line drive (fourth) and one thrown out at home (fifth). The Trojans loaded the bases in the first inning on two walks and a hit batter, too.

King and Toops had the Trojans’ hits off Newton’s Treg Jackson, who struck out eight, walked eight and hit a batter. Toops hit a one-out single in the seventh but was stranded on third after two stolen bases. Playing aggressive, the Trojans stole 10 bases overall.

“That’s tournament baseball. Anything can happen at any time,” Newton coach Jordan Kopp said. “I don’t want to put the loss on that one (throwing error in the fifth) but it’s tough for our guys. … Give Wes credit, he pounded the zone. He kept our guys off balance. And when we hit the ball we hit it right at them.”

The win for Southeastern was its second straight, matching the Trojans’ season high.

“We have a lot of young guys and they haven’t been in these big pressure situations before, “Earles said. “We have to let them know to calm down. This is big for them. Hopefully we get a little swagger, a little confidence.”

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