Photo & Game Report via Newport Gulls
Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Newport Gulls returned home for one of their last five games of the regular season Wednesday night. But the Gulls (26-12) could not capitalize on several scoring opportunities, falling to the Plymouth Pilgrims 3-2 at Cardines Field.
The Pilgrims got on the board first off Gulls starter Michael Mertz. Plymouth loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning, scoring a run on a Logan Kochsacrifice fly. An inning later, they went up 2-0 on an RBI groundout by Tanner Giesel, scoring Carl Chester.
On the mound, Kevin Plant was flirting with disaster, but the Gulls could not get to the Pilgrim starter. On multiple occasions, Newport had runners in scoring position, but could not get a key hit for the majority of his outing.
Plymouth added another run in the sixth inning, making the lead 3-0 with opportunities dwindling.
Trailing by two in the bottom of the eighth, the Gulls finally broke onto the scoreboard. With two outs in the frame, Sean Bouchard singled up the middle and was brought home on Drew Lugbauer’s fifth home run of the season to cut the lead to one run.
The home run signaled the end of Plant’s outing after 7 2/3 innings, eight hits and three strikeouts.
Newport’s comeback bid fell short in the ninth, however, as Luke Olson sat the Gulls down in order to give Plymouth its first ever regular-season win at Cardines Field.
The Gulls will play a split double header on Tuesday against the Ocean State Waves. Game one will be at 2 p.m. at Cardines Field, followed by game two at 6:05 p.m. at Old Mountain Field in Wakefield, R.I. Rob Masse and Tim Scott will have the call of both games on the NECBL Broadcast Network.
Newport returns home to face the second place Mystic Schooners at 6:35 p.m. on Friday, and travels to North Adams, Massachusetts to face the SteepleCats in the regular-season finale at 6:30 on Saturday. The 2015 NECBL quarterfinal playoffs are tentatively set to begin Monday at 6:35 at Cardines Field.
For more information about the Newport Gulls, visit facebook.com/newportgulls, follow the Gulls on Twitter @NewportGulls or visit www.newportgulls.com.