Newport (18 – 17) extended its win-streak to five on Saturday night after edging out the Ocean State Waves (18 – 16) 7–6 in ten innings. Jake Eder put together a solid six inning, three run outing for Newport and exited the contest with his team holding onto a 6–3 lead. Nate Wrighter earned win throwing 4.0 innings of shutout baseball against the No. 1 ranked offense in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. As the league-leader in saves, Wrighter had yet to throw more than 2.0 innings in an outing this summer but proved his toughness yet again at Old Mountain Field.
Newport jumped out to an early 1–0 lead in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly from Stevie Mangrum, but Ocean State answered promptly with three runs on three walks and three singles in the bottom of the frame to take a 3–1 lead.
The Gulls struck back with a four-run top of the fifth that started when Jack Gethings plated Tim Tawa on an RBI double. Later in the inning, Jayson Gonzalez launched a three-run home run over the right field fence to give Newport a 5–3 advantage. Gonzalez has now hit five homers in his last five games and has been a significant part of Newport’s offensive resurgence. The Gulls added one more in the top of the sixth to extend the advantage to three runs.
Ocean State came into this game with a 4 – 1 head-to-head record against the Gulls this season and proved once more that they would not go down without a fight. With Eder out of the game, the Waves scored three runs on four hits off of Jeremiah Burke. With the score tied 6–6 and two runners on-base, Nate Wrighter battled his way out of the jam with a strikeout and a timely double play.
The game would remain tied until Tim Tawa launched his fifth home run of the year over the center field fence with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the tenth inning. With a 7–6 lead, Wrighter navigated around a one-out error, stranding Daren Wood on second to end the game.
While Gonzalez and Tawa each homered in the ballgame, Jack Gethings continued his success against the Waves with a five-for-six night that included two doubles and three singles. The Fairfield Stag ended this year’s Pell Bridge Series with 12 hits in 24 at-bats.
Newport is now tied with the Mystic Schooners (19 – 18) for the third and final playoff spot in the Southern Division with just ten games remaining in the 2018 NECBL regular season. The Gulls are back in action on Sunday night when they take on the Vermont Mountaineers (15 – 21) for the first time this season. First pitch from Montpelier Field is set for 6:30 p.m.
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