It took some convincing – both of his doctor and his coach – but in what was likely the last time he’d ever take the field, there was no way he was going to give up the ball. Newberry threw a complete game as the Colts’ got the 8-5 victory over Pleasure Ridge Park in a Sixth Region baseball semifinal.
Newberry warmed up with a brace on his glove hand to protect the two broken bones, but PRP coach Bill Miller requested he take it off before his first pitch.
While he gave up five runs on nine hits, Newberry was the beneficiary of a 14-hit attack by DeSales (17-22), who advance to their second straight regional final. They will play Bullitt East, which knocked off North Bullitt in the semifinal nightcap.
“His finger’s fully snapped, and he’s out there freaking pitching the whole game,” said junior Gilly Simpson, who went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two runs batted in. “He’s pitched great all year, and now we’re finally putting runs behind him.”
Alec Brothers also went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.
Throughout the game, Newberry would often resort to catch balls from his infielders using his bare throwing hand, rather than risk further injury, which still might require surgery next week.
“I’m hoping we can delay that as well,” he said, alluding to a potential state tournament appearance.
After both teams scored runs in the first inning, the Colts broke out for three runs in the second off Tavian Dones. Brayden Recktenwald started with a walk and moved up on a wild pitchand scored on Simpson’s single to right field. Simpson advanced on a sacrifice and a wild pitch, and after a Mitch Sirohman walk, Simpson scored on Brothers’ single that caromed off Dones. Tyler Tucker’s sacrifice fly made it 4-1.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” Newberry said. “They found a way and the really backed me up today.”
The Panthers (24-15) would not challenge again until the sixth, when DeSales led 6-2. Jalil Akbar, Burk and Rucker singled to make it 6-3. A safety squeeze by Matthew Cavanaugh cut the Colts lead to two, but Newberry got Dones and Dylan Carnes swinging to end the threat.
After the game, Newberry had ice on both his right shoulder and his left hand, which he had broken diving back into a base earlier in the season.
“That’s got to be one of the gutsiest pitching performances in high school I think I’ve ever seen,” DeSales coach T.J. Cataldo said.
After the game, Newberry got caught up in the moment.
“Hanging up the cleats probably today,” he said, knowing this was probably his last start as a Colt. “It’s sucks, but it’s a way to go.”