The Gulls improved to 5-2 on the season against Danbury after defeating the Westerners 7-2 on Wednesday Night in Game One of the best-of-three series in the NECBL Southern Division Semifinals. The Gulls look to advance to the Southern Division Championship Series with a win tomorrow night at Danbury.

The Gulls came out strong, batting around and scoring six of their seven runs in the second inning. Trey Harrisstarted things off for Newport with a double off the top of the right-field fence. The Westerners had struggled finding the strike zone, walking eight batters in the contest, with three coming in the second, providing the Gulls with plenty of scoring opportunities. Cole Fabio walked, followed by an RBI single by the NECBL batting champion,Troy Dixon. Already up 3-0, Stephen Scott, the Gulls most consistent clutch hitter, came to the plate.

Scott launched a 2-2 pitch over the right-field fence for his team-leading 11th home run of the summer. His three-run bomb put the Gulls up 6-0 at the end of two innings.

Starting pitcher Hunter Schryver tossed a gem on the mound for the Gulls, keeping the Westerners off-balance for most of the night. Schryver struck out 11 Westerners in seven complete innings, while giving up just one run on four hits. Matthew Murphy relieved Schryver to pitch the eighth, recording all three outs via the strikeout.

The Gulls put one more on the board in the sixth inning. After back-to-back base-on-balls to Fabio and Dixon, Jake Brodt sent a frozen rope through the middle of the field, just out of reach of the Westerners’ shortstop for his second base hit of the night. Brodt’s RBI-single scored Fabio, increasing the Gulls lead to 7-1.

Garrett Barker finished out the ninth inning for the Gulls, securing the Game One win of the best-of-three series in the NECBL Southern Division Semifinals round. The Westerners Jason Agresti smashed a home run in the ninth inning to cut the Gulls lead to 7-2.

Newport will look to close out the series as they travel to Danbury to face the Westerners in Game Two of the NECBL quarterfinal round on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Rogers Park, as Newport will send right-hander Blake Battenfield (2-1, 2.86 ERA), a junior out of Oklahoma State, to the mound against Danbury rightyWill Jahn (5-1, 2.25 ERA), a junior from Northeastern.

Play-by-play broadcasters Nick Lima and Chris Walker will have the call on the NECBL Broadcast Network, on the air with pregame show coverage, including both video and free audio, at 6:20 p.m. via www.newportgulls.com.

If necessary, Game Three will be on Friday at Cardines Field at 6:35 p.m.; the winner of the series will advance to face either the Mystic Schooners or New Bedford Bay Sox in the Southern Division Championship Series this weekend.

For more information about the Newport Gulls, visit facebook.com/newportgulls, follow the Gulls on Twitter @NewportGulls or visit www.newportgulls.com

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.