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Newport Overwhelmed by Nighthawks Power, fall 13-4
Three Nighthawks combined to go 9-for-12 with nine RBI
The Newport Gulls struggled to find some much-needed base hits as the Upper Valley Nighthawks powered their way to a 13-4 win over the Gulls on Wednesday night at Cardines Field.
The Gulls (7-5) recorded four runs on seven hits against the opposing pitchers. Gabe Snyder (Wright State) led the Gulls, going 2-for-4 at the plate. Cole Fabio (Bryant), Mark Powell (Bucknell), and Chris Chatfield (South Florida) each chipped in with RBI base hits of their own.
The Nighthawks (6-5) were sparked by a trio of sluggers, led by James Morisano (St. Louis), Brian Mims (North Carolina Wilmington) and Al Molina (Seton Hall), as they combined for nine hits and nine RBI to lead the NECBL’s newest expansion franchise to victory in the first ever matchup between them and Newport.
The Nighthawks powered their way to a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-run homerun off the bat of Molina to straight away center. Morisano scored after leading off the inning with a solid single to leftfield. The Nighthawks continued to swing a hot bat throughout the night, tallying 16 hits on the evening.
The Gulls immediately answered with three of their runs in the second inning after a key two-out error by the Nighthawks helped the Gulls rally back to regain a 3-2 lead. Powell, a Middletown, R.I. native, came through with an RBI single to center that scored Ben Breazeale (Wake Forest). Fabio completed the rally with a single through the right side to score Chatfield for the third run of the inning.
The Nighthawks muscled three more doubles in the fifth and opened the scoring gates as they plated another three runs, extending their lead to 10-3. The same three hitters for the Nighthawks, Morisano, Molina and Mims, played a pivotal role in the inning, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI single. Alex Hanson also contributed with a key two-RBI double for Upper Valley.
The Gulls showed some life in the sixth and took advantage of a fielding error, allowing Shane Matheny (Washington State) to score, but Newport failed to convert once again with runners in scoring position. The Gulls left 11 total runners on base Wednesday night.
Continuing their jam-packed first half of the season, the Gulls are right back in action tomorrow night, and travel to face their division rival Danbury Westerners at 6:30 p.m. The Gulls are back home at Cardines field on Friday night for NAVSTA Newport Homes Night as they face the Mystic Schooners for the fourth time this season. The Gulls hold a 2-1 series advantage over Mystic thus far. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m., and gates open at 5.
For more information about the Newport Gulls, visit facebook.com/newportgulls, follow the Gulls on Twitter @NewportGulls or visit www.newportgulls.com.