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Bummer! Coronavirus outbreak affects Newcastle sports

The Newcastle baseball team is now 3-2 on the season after beating the Bridge Creek Bobcats last week, 6-1 and 17-3, in a pair of games. The Racers are off this week for Spring Break – or maybe the rest of the year.

In the first game at home last Monday against Bridge Creek, the Racers used a solid complete-game effort from Kale Crossley to secure the victory. Crossley allowed just three hits while striking out four Bridge Creek batters.

Jacob Bruns and Jake Cox both had two hits and two runs scored in the game. Adan “Peanut” Federico had a hit and two runs batted in.

The next day at Bridge Creek, Newcastle went bonkers at the plate and run-ruled the Bobcats. Connor Neeley was the winning pitcher for the Racers, tossing 3.2 innings and allowing three runs on three hits while striking out six Bobcats.

The Racers scored eight runs in the second inning and seven runs in the fourth inning. Cox had three hits while Kruz Vargas and Corbin Sanner each had two hits in the win. It was a good day for Newcastle but…

“We swept Bridge Creek,” Newcastle baseball head coach Mike Crossley said. “We beat them at our place and their place. We’re starting to swing the bats better. But, we are starting to settle down now with no school during Spring Break and it’s a downer because of the Coronavirus thing.”

Indeed, the Coronavirus is causing major headaches – for all sports and society in general. Shops and malls, courthouses, movie theatres, restaurants, major sports like the NBA, MLB, and the NHL… all activity has come to a halt.

O rance 387-2318 N.MainSt.Newcastle ZERO • Monthly Premiums Available • Deductible Available • Agent Fee “We practice for a couple of months and then we hit the season ready to go,” Crossley said. “Then, this happens. All teams are in the same boat as we are. Our kids love baseball and they look forward to playing this time of the year. I feel bad for them – especially my seniors.

“They don’t get to go out on the baseball field and they all love the game. You can tell that by the way they practice and the way they approach the game. It looks like we may not be doing it for a while. (Oklahoma Superintendent) Joy Hofmeister has proposed that we are out of school until April 6.”

With that, Newcastle stands to lose at least 12 games. They will miss attending the Bartlesville Bruin Classic set to begin on March 27. The Racers also will be wiped out from their own wood-bat tournament on April 2.

“We can’t do anything if we are out – for the safety of our students,” Crossley said. “That’s almost all season. It will eat up a bunch of our season. I just feel horrible for our players and our seniors. It’s a scary time and I’ve never dealt with anything like this.

“But, we have to protect our kids. We are not playing Harrah this Friday. It looks like the Tuttle game on Monday will be cancelled, too. They are not practicing, either. Everybody is taking the same precautions.”

The Class 4A state basketball tournament was postponed “indefinitely” last Thursday. The Newcastle Lady Racers (19-9, ranked No. 10) were supposed to play the Anadarko Lady Warriors, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A with a 26-1 record.

Newcastle girls basketball head coach Brett Sanders isn’t enthused at all of the tournament being played.

“I have not heard anything new,” Sanders said. “I don’t see us having the tournament in the next three weeks. It’s disappointing, to say the least.”

The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced Monday it was closing public schools across the state until April 6. That means high school teams at public high schools can’t practice or play in competition until that time.

The state basketball tournaments were postponed last Thursday only 90 minutes before scheduled tip-offs at 10 sites across the state. The OSSAA planned to meet Tuesday and discuss options, if any, to reschedule the state basketball tournament and plans for the remainder of spring sports.

The Newcastle Pacer

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