The Newport Gulls will be celebrating their 20th year of operations in 2020. The club announced plans to celebrate the top 20 moments in their history today in the following press release;
In addition to the start of a new decade, once the ball dropped at midnight, the Newport Gulls celebrated another landmark- the beginning of their 20thyear of operations. During this time, the Newport Gulls have grown to be the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s most successful franchise on and off the field. Having won six championships, 10 division titles, and sent over 150 alumni to professional baseball in which 20 have reached the Major Leagues, the past 20 years have been filled with history.
Newport Gulls faithful could list hundreds of notable moments during the team’s time in the City by the Sea and would argue for hours which should be deserving of the top spot. After careful consideration, a group of current and former Newport Gulls employees, coaches, players, host families, sponsors, and fans put together a list of the Top 20 moments to celebrate the past and get you ready for the upcoming season. There are just about 20 weeks from January 1stuntil Opening Day 2020 so the Gulls will be releasing one player per week. Follow the Newport Gulls Social Media Accounts and Newportgulls.com to keep track of these defining moments.
Jose Vizcaino Jr. Game Saving Catch in 2014 NECBL Championship Series
2014 was the last time the Newport Gulls took home the Fay Vincent Sr. Cup. After finishing the regular season 25-7, the Gulls entered the Southern Division playoffs as the #2 Seed. Newport defeated the Ocean State Waves in the First Round and the Plymouth Pilgrims the Southern Division Championship before taking on the Sanford Mainers for the League Title. Both series against the Waves and Pilgrims were won two games to one.
Game One of the NECBL Championship Series was held at Historic Cardines Field in front of a crowd of 2,771 fans. A pitchers duel ensued between the Gulls John Kilichowski(Vanderbilt) and Mainers Nicholas Poore(Boston College). Kilichowski was relieved by Mark McCoy(Wake Forest) after tossing seven innings of scoreless baseball. The southpaw from Barnegat, NJ allowed the first two men in the top of the eighth on base. With the surging Mainers bringing the go-ahead run up at the plate, what happened next completely changed the game’s momentum, and arguably the series as a whole.
Sanford pinch-hit with Michael Rescigno(Maryland) and on a 1-1 count, Rescigno launched a ball to deep left-centerfield. Jose Vizcaino Jr.(Santa Clara) was playing centerfield for the Gulls and immediately sprang into action, making a leaping grab that had the son of former Major Leaguer Jose Vizcaino crashing into Cardines’ chain link outfield fence. However, the play was not over after Vizcaino’s amazing grab. He had the wherewithal to quickly spin and deliver a strike to first base, doubling up the Sanford baserunner that thought there was no chance of making the catch on a fly.
The Gulls completed the inning unscathed and proceeded to score three runs in the bottom of the frame, winning the game 5-0. Game Two was played in Sanford and won by the Gulls 8-5, leading to their sixth NECBL Championship.
Newport Gulls General Manager Chuck Paiva considers this play one of the best in Gulls history; “Jose Jr. catch against Sanford has to be one of the most memorable playoff moments throughout our many runs for a championship. What makes the play truly remarkable is how after completing a near-impossible grab he was able to make the equally impossible throw. That is why this play is a must for our Top 20.”
Vizcaino attended Santa Clara University and was drafted before and after his summer with the Newport Gulls in 2014. He was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 36thRound of the 2012 MLB Draft and again in 2015’s 7thRound by the San Francisco Giants. Vizcaino posted a .361 batting average during the postseason to go along with his top 20 moment, finishing his summer season hitting .284 with three home runs and 18 RBI.
The catch can be viewed via this link and the Gulls Social Media Accounts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMH24cRoWPY