By Nick Bello– Media Operations Assistant
NEWPORT, R.I. – Newport (24-17) opened up their final week of the regular season with a doubleheader in the City by the Sea. In the first game, the Gulls walked-off yet again at Cardines Field, defeating the Ocean State Waves (17-22) on Monday’s resumption of last Monday’s finale of the Pell Bridge Series. For the Gulls, Mike Townsend picks up the win as C.J. McKennitt picks up the loss for the Waves.
After Waves put up three runs in the first thanks to a two-RBI double from Elijah Dunham and an RBI single from Dillon Morton, the Gulls put together a six-run inning to make it a 6-3 ballgame. The big inning for the Gulls was started by Chris Hamilton who came through with a three-run homer. Neither team would score again until the third when the Waves’ Ian Ostberg came through with a two-RBI double to cut the Gulls lead to two. The Waves would then go on to take the lead in the fourth, scoring three runs off of another two-RBI double from Dunham and an RBI single from Garrett Hodges.
In the top of the fifth, however, with one runner on first and one out, the game was suspended due to lightning around Aquidneck Island which was then followed by a torrential downpour that inevitably postponed the game to the following Monday. When play was resumed Monday afternoon, the Waves scored the runner on first on an error by Colton Bender. They would then go on to tack on two more runs in the top of the sixth to extend their lead to 10-6.
The Gulls, however, were not ready to give up just yet, as they put up five runs in the bottom half of the sixth that included a two-run blast from Scott Holzwasser and a two-RBI ground-rule double from Joey Bellini to give the Gulls an 11-10 lead. The Waves would tie it up at 11 in the seventh off of a solo home run by Vargas, which was then answered by the Gulls in the bottom of the inning thanks to an RBI single from Hamilton that scored Holzwasser from second.
The Waves would tie it up yet again in the eighth off of a solo shot from Will McGillis. However, the Gulls came up clutch yet again as Hayden Jones came to the plate with a runner on first and second and one down in the ninth. Jones came through with a single that scored Justyn-Henry Malloy from second to give the Gulls their 24th win of the season.
After walking-off against the Waves, the Gulls then faced off against the Keene Swamp Bats (24-17) at for a 6:35 matchup at Cardines. The Gulls struck first after Hudson Haskin scored on a Malloy sac-fly. In the third, however, Randall Bednar came through with a huge two-run homer to give the Swamp Bats a 2-1 lead. They would then go on to add another run in the fourth off of a solo home run by Will Wagner.
The Gulls would get one back in the bottom of the inning thanks to a solo shot from Bender to make it a 3-2 ballgame. The Swamp Bats would add yet another run in the fifth off of a Bednar RBI double to make it a 4-2 lead. They would then add another run in the sixth off of an RBI double by Seth Caddell to make it 5-2 in favor of Keene.
The Gulls would cut the Swamp Bats lead to one in the bottom half of the eighth thanks to a ground out by Bellini that scored Benderand an RBI triple from Haskin to make it 5-4 with one inning remaining. The Swamp Bats would then go on to add another run in the ninth off of a sac-fly giving them a 6-4 lead that would prove to be too much for Newport to overcome as they fell to the Swamp Bats.
For the Gulls, Garrett Schmeltz picked up the loss while Jonathan Edwards picked up the win for the Swamp Bats and Justin Willis picks up the save. The Gulls will now head to Upper Valley on Tuesday for a 6 pm start at Maxfield Sports Complex.