Newton leads Statesmen to No. 3 national ranking

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 14, 2004

[4/30/04]CLEVELAND Delta State junior catcher Craig Newton is small in stature, but he plays baseball like he’s 10 feet tall and bulletproof.

Newton, a Warren Central product, is one of the main reasons the Statesmen are ranked third in the country heading into the final regular season series this weekend.

“I took my pull approach away, and found out there is another side of the field beside right field,” said the left-handed Newton.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Newton has gone 8-for-11 with nine RBIs in his last three games. His batting average is steadily climbing and is now at .350 with 42 RBIs.

He is leading the team in doubles with 16 and has hit five home runs. He also leads the team in being hit by a pitch with 15.

“He has been swinging the bat well during the home stretch when we need him most,” said Delta State coach Mike Kinnison, who watched Newton come off a stellar freshman season only to hit .270 last season as a sophomore.

Delta State (38-9) will open the Gulf South Conference Tournament on Thursday in Millington, Tenn.

“We know our potential down the home stretch,” Newton said. “We see the finish line and have to do the little things to get there.”