The Newton Rebels are on the bubble in terms of post-season play, but were able to strengthen their position with a 6-4 win over the El Dorado Broncos, another team fighting to stay in post-season contention.

Newton sweeps the two-game, home-and-home series with the Broncos — a first-year team in the Sunflower Collegiate League, but a longstanding fixture in the old Jayhawk League.

“That’s a big series at this point of the year,” Newton manager Brett Clark said. “To take that right now, if we just keep that up and do our job, everything will take care of itself like it’s supposed to. If we get in because we win, I’m excited about that. If we do our job, and somehow don’t get in, then we knew we did everything we could.”

Newton starter Steven Dennis threw seven innings, allowing a run on two hits with five walks and four strikeouts.

“I really focused on my cutter,” Dennis said. “I was trying to get a little more movement on the side. A tried to do a little more than a straight fastball today. I tried to get the corners more. I mixed in a few off-speed pitches to keep them off-balance. I feel pretty good. I’m coming off a short rest from my last outing. Coming from south Texas, this (weather) kind of feels like home. It felt good to get back on the mound.”

Dennis finished two years at Ranger College. A native of College Station, Texas, he said he is leaning towards playing at Lubbock Christian in the fall.

“I’d love to come back out and start one more time for us,” Dennis said. “I hope we can make a nice little run and get in the playoffs.”

El Dorado starter Adam Stephenson lasted five innings and allowed a run on four hits with four walks and nine strikeouts. Hudson Oliver took the loss, pitching in the sixth inning. El Dorado used three other pitchers.

“(Stephenson) is a Wichita State guy, and we know when he goes on the mound, he’s going to strike out guys,” El Dorado manager Toby Ruder said. “We filled the zone. He struggled a little bit in the first inning, but he knows what he’s doing. It was a rough go (for the bullpen). We started a little short there. We’ve had some guys step up. It’s just hard.”

Newton was led at the plate by Garrett McClain, who finished two for four. He had a grand slam in the seventh inning to give the Rebels a five-run lead.

Tanner White went two for five hitting for El Dorado, driving in two runs.

Newton used a pair of two-out hits in the bottom of the fifth to score a run. Kyle Keever drove in the run with a single.

With two outs in the top of the sixth inning, El Dorado tied the score on a Connor Kim RBI triple.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Terrell Huggins and Cade Gonzales each doubled to drive in a run.

Newton loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, setting the grand slam for McClain.

Newton’s Daniel Rubio struck out the side in the top of the eighth. The Broncos loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the ninth, aided by an error. Another error and a White single led to three runs. A strikeout ended the game.

“That can’t happen, especially at this time of the season,” Clark said. “We need to stay locked in for nine innings. If you don’t, somebody’s going to come back and beat you.”

El Dorado falls to 17-14, 15-14 in league play. The Broncos face East Division leader Haysville at 7 p.m. today, followed by the Aviators at 7 p.m. Sunday at home and the Derby Twins at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Eck Stadium.

“Right now, we’re still in the playoffs,” Ruder said. “If we can catch a hot streak, that will lead us into the playoffs and into the (NBC) World Series, hopefully.”

Newton will be awarded a 9-0 forfeit win against Salina Saturday, which was unable to finish the season due to a loss of players.

Newton is 20-17, 15-16 in league play.

Newton hosts Mulvane at 7 p.m. Tuesday and plays at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mulvane. Newton hosts the Wichita Sluggers at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“We have three league games and a non-league game left,” Clark said. “I would hate to say they are all must-win, but we have to win every game we can to give ourselves a chance to get in the post-season.”

El Dorado;ab;r;h;bi

Elliot 3b;5;1;1;0

Kym ss;4;0;0;1

White rf;5;1;2;2

Sparks 2b;4;0;0;0

Kin 1b;4;0;1;1

Breeden lf;3;0;0;0

Woods dh;3;1;0;0

Gooch cf;0;0;0;0

Marler c;4;0;0;0

Cox p;3;1;1;0



Gonzales ss;4;0;1;0

Perez 2b;5;0;1;0

Royle cf;3;2;0;0

Healy 3b;3;1;1;0

Keever dh;3;0;1;1

Atkins ph;1;0;0;0

Stone c;3;1;0;0

Hodges c;0;0;0;0

McClain 1b;4;1;2;4

Lill rf;2;0;1;1

Huggins lf;4;1;1;0


El Dorado;000;001;003;—4


E — Kin, Dennis, Gonzales 2. DP — El Dorado. LOB — ED 9, New. 10. 2B — Huggins, Gonzales. 3B — Kin. HR — McClain (1). SB — Kym, Breeden, Royle.

El Dorado;ip;h;r;er;bb;k


Oliver, L;1;2;1;1;0;1





Dennis, W;7;2;1;1;5;4


Collins faced two batters in the seventh inning.

HBP — Stone (Boyer), Lill (Boyer). Time — 2:33.