The Mystic Schooners outlasted the Newport Gulls 12-11 in extra innings on Friday night at Cardines Field. The Schooners’ Aaron Hill (Connecticut) collected three hits (3-for-5) with three RBI, including the go-ahead winning RBI double in the 12th inning to give the Schooners the win.
The Gulls (0-2) gave a strong effort offensively, led by Travis Young (Wichita State), collecting four hits (4-for-6) with two RBI and two runs scored. Young was one of five Gulls to have multi-hit performances Friday night, including three hits from Gabe Snyder (Wright State) along with Charlie Carpenter (South Carolina-Upstate) (2-for-4), Shane Matheny (Washington State) (2-for-6) and Stephen Scott (Vanderbilt) (2-for-6). Kris Bubic (Stanford) (L, 0-1) received the tough loss, going four innings in relief, while only giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits with three strikeouts.
The Schooners (2-0) had three players with multi-hit performances tonight, led by Hill with his three hits and three RBI, and Nick Mascelli (Wagner) collected two hits with two RBI. Closer Ryan Connolly (W, 1-0) earned his first win of the season, coming on in relief in the 11th inning for the Schooners. Connolly went 2 complete innings, giving up one run on two hits with three strikeouts.
The Gulls didn’t take long to get comfortable in front of the home fans at Cardines Field. Young led off the bottom of the first inning with a two-strike single to centerfield. Following a Snyder walk, sophomore catcher Charlie Carpenter (South Carolina-Upstate) cleared the bases with the long ball over the deep centerfield fence, Newport’s version of the Green Monster, to put the Gulls up 3-0.
The Schooners fought back in the top of the second inning to score two runs. The second inning rally started with an error in left field by Chris Chatfield and followed by two Prendergast walks to load the bases. The senior shortstop Mascelli’s timely two out single drove home both Casey Baker (Stony Brook) and Hill. Zach Prendergast (Seton Hall) (ND, 0-0) prevented additional damage by forcing Tasishi Terashima (St. Bonaventure) to ground out to third for the final out of the inning.
Scott Bradley (Indiana University) started a Mystic rally, but it was short-lived as a result of poor base running. In what would have been an RBI single to score Bradley, Brett Bond (Missouri Columbia) was thrown out in an attempt to stretch out his single as the ball ricocheted off the Gulls’ first baseman, Snyder. On the same play, Bradley was called out for not touching the bag as he rounded third to score. The Gulls got out of the inning with no damage with a 4-2 lead.
Joseph Rivera (Connecticut) (ND, 0-0) started the bottom third on the wild side for the Schooners, walking the first Gulls batter, Snyder, followed up by hitting Carpenter with a 0-1 pitch. Shane Matheny put the ball in the air to center, advancing Snyder to third on a sacrifice fly. Mark Powell (Bucknell) delivered an RBI with a slow ground out to first, allowing Snyder to score, extending the Gulls lead to 5-2. Rivera struck out Travis Howard to end the inning.
The Gulls offense stalled in the fifth with a pair of base-running miscues. Snyder started the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second on a passed ball. Carpenter grounded to short for a fielder’s choice as Snyder was called out in his attempt to advance to third. Carpenter was then thrown out at second to end the inning, trying to advance on a short-hopped pitch in the dirt.
The Gulls went quietly in the sixth, with no hits, no runs and one runner left on base courtesy of a Schooners error.
The Schooners put together four straight, well-placed singles in the top of the sixth to score two, cutting the Gulls lead down to 5-4. The two-out rally brought an end to Newport starting pitcher Prendergast’s night after 107 pitchers, 66 for strikes. Travis Howard (Santa Clara) (ND, 0-0) entered in relief to get Mascelli to ground out to shortstop for the final out of the inning.
The game continued in back and forth fashion, until the Gulls fought back in the seventh to regain a 7-6 lead over the Schooners. Young doubled off the centerfield fence and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. Following a Chatfield walk, Snyder singled on a sharp grounder to third, allowing Young to score the tying run.
Schooners pitcher Ryan Thomas came in to strike out Carpenter, but was unable to get Matheny as he batted a well-placed single through the left side of the infield, scoring Chatfield for the go-ahead run. Powell grounded out to third to end the inning, but not before the Gulls regained a 7-6 lead.
In what had suddenly become a back-and-forth game, the Schooners raced back in the eighth to once again tie the game 7-7 before the Gulls recorded the first out of the inning. Ryan Ramiz walked and later scored, following by two straight singles by Mascelli and Terashima (RBI).
The Schooners continued to threaten as they loaded the bases when Baker ran out a high bouncer to the middle of the infield, recording the RBI as Mascelli gave the Schooners an 8-7 lead and continued to have the bases loaded.
The Schooners continued to put pressure on the Gulls as Hill drove in two more runs on his 2-RBI single to centerfield, extending Mystic’s lead to 10-7.
The Gulls attempted a two-out rally in the eighth, as Scott singled over the third basemen and later advanced to second base on a passed ball. Young followed up with a single to center and was thrown out trying to extend it into a double. Scott was able to score prior to the final out being recorded to help the Gulls cut into the Schooners lead, 10-8.
Kris Bubic (Stanford) pitched a near perfect ninth inning to hold the Schooners lead to 10-8 as the Gulls came in for their final at-bats in regulation.
Chatfield led off the inning for the Gulls with an infield single to shortstop. Carpenter collected his third hit of the day with a double to right center field to continue the Gulls rally. Matheny responded with an infield single, scoring Chatfield as the Gulls continued to rally, down 10-9.
Powell put the ball down the first base line and Schooners’ first basemen Baker recorded the out at first, but his overthrow of the catcher to allowed Carpenter and the Gulls to tie the game at 10-10. Bubic, batting in the DH spot for the short-handed Gulls, couldn’t help himself, fouling out down the leftfield line for the final out, bringing on free baseball to the crowd over 2,300 in Newport.
Bubic and the Gulls sat the Schooners down in order in the 10th, and the Gulls likewise went scoreless in the bottom of the inning. Ramiz’s RBI fielder’s choice delivered the go-ahead in the top of the 11th inning as the Schooners jumped ahead of the Gulls, 11-10.
The Gulls responded, refusing to quit, as Synder collectd his fourth hit of the night with an infield single to start the 11th-inning rally for the Gulls. Carpenter advanced Snyder on a sacrifice bunt, and Snyder later stole third, placing him 90 feet away from tying the game once again. Powell found the perfect time to collect his first hit of the game, a two-out, RBI single, scoring Snyder, but the Gulls were unable to produce the winning run.
Mystic took a 12-11 lead in the eighth after Hill doubled down the line, scoring Bond who had reached on an error. The Gulls put the winning run on base in the 12th, but failed to come back from a do-or-die deficit a third time, falling to the Schooners.
The Gulls travel to play the New Bedford Bay Sox tomorrow for a 6:30 p.m. start and then will play the same Schooners Sunday on the road, before returning home on Monday, June 13 for a 6:35 start vs. the Ocean State Waves.
For more information about the Newport Gulls, visit facebook.com/newportgulls, follow the Gulls on Twitter @NewportGulls or visit www.newportgulls.com.
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