By Stephen Hough – Team Publicist

MARTHA’S VINEYARD, Mass. – In a battle between the top two teams in the Southern Division, Newport (21-15) came out on top of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (23-14) by a score of 8-2.

The victory for the Gulls was a complete team effort as Newport didn’t commit an error on the day and were led by an excellent pitching performance from Dillon Brown. The Cal State Fullerton product gave up a run in the first and second innings to the Sharks but settled into a groove after that. Brown retired seven in-a-row from the bottom of the third through the fifth inning, continuing his hot streak on the mound from his last start when he retired 12 in-a-row against Vermont. Brown finished the night with seven innings pitched, giving up the two early runs off of seven hits and a walk while striking out a season-high seven batters.

With the pitching and defense firing on all cylinders, Newport’s offense didn’t disappoint either. The Gulls opened up the scoring early afterChris Hamilton launched his second home run of the season in the first. After the next two batters reached, Joey Bellini ripped a two-RBI double to extend the Gulls lead to three on the day.

Newport would score two more runs in the third inning after Brett Vosik singled and scored off of Austin James’ RBI triple down the right field line. Peter Serruto would knock in James with a two-out RBI single to give the Gulls their fifth run of the day. All of Newport’s first five runs came with two outs in the inning.

The Gulls success at the plate continued as they racked on three more runs, one coming in each of the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.

The win over the Sharks brings Newport within 1.5 games of the first-place team with eight games left to play on the season. The Gulls will be back in action on Friday, July 26th in a split doubleheader. The first game will be a seven-inning road game against the New Bedford Bay Sox with first pitch set for noon. The second game is back at Cardines as the Gulls will take on the Danbury Westerners. First pitch against Danbury is set for 6:35.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).