By Stephen Hough – Team Publicist

MARTHA’S VINEYARD, Mass. – Newport dropped the first game of the Southern Division Championship Series to the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks by a score of 2-1. Brian Ketchie picked up the win for the Vineyard as Garrett Schmeltz was tagged with the loss for Newport.

Scott Holzwasser opened the scoring for both sides as he launched a solo home run to center in the fourth inning. After back-to-back walks to start the bottom half of the frame, Brady Slavens ripped an RBI single to tie the game up at one apiece. The Vineyard would tack on the go-ahead run in the fifth off an RBI double from Nander De Sedas.

The Gulls best chance to retake the lead came in the sixth when they loaded up the bases with one away. Justyn-Henry Malloy hit a sharp line drive up the middle but De Sedas was able to make the catch and flip to second to double up Greg Cavaliere and end the threat.

Ketchie threw eight innings of one-run baseball for the Sharks, giving up just five hits while striking out six. The Gulls only had five hits on the day and failed to draw a walk.

Game two of the Division Championship Series will be played at Cardines Field on Monday, August 5th. First pitch is set for 6:35.