By Zach Letson — Broadcaster and Team Publicist
OAK BLUFFS, M.A. — The last four victories for Newport (5-1) were close, nail-biting victories. The Gulls won four games by a combined eight runs.
This was not one of those nights.
Newport scored six in the first inning, and plenty more throughout in a 17-1 thrashing of Martha’s Vineyard (3-3) Tuesday night at the Shark Tank.
Newport laid the crooked number right away thanks to a team effort — literally. The Gulls sent all nine batters to the plate and scored six times. Slate Alford laced a RBI double down the left field line. Three batters later, Jake Burley blew the game open with a three-run homer, extending the lead to 6-0.
An inning later, the bats were at it again. Newport scored three more, thanks to back-to-back jacks from Colton Ledbetter and Alford. The lead grew to 9-0.
Yet, the Mississippi State Bulldog wasn’t done. Alford’s next at bat came in the fourth, and he belted his second long ball of the night over the centerfield fence. It was an 11-0 Gulls lead after four.
That was more than enough run support for starting pitcher Jake Garland (1-0) in his Gulls debut. The Miami Hurricanes right hander threw five innings while allowing just four hits and one run to go with four strikeouts.
Opening night starter Seamus Barrett relieved Garland and fired three scoreless innings, striking out five.
The Gulls struck for another offensive outburst in the sixth. Burley, Noah Martinez, and Josh Kuroda-Grauer connected on RBI singles, making it 15-1.
Two more runs came across in the ninth thanks to a bases-loaded, two-RBI single by Sam Kulasingam.
The 17 runs and 16-run margin of victory are both bests since a 23 to 5 win over the Danbury Westerners on June 18, 2018.
The emphatic victory gives Newport a 1.5 game lead in the coastal division. The Gulls next face a non-division matchup tomorrow when Newport heads to Goodall Park to face the Sanford Mainers (1-6). First pitch is at 6:30pm.
The Gulls are back at Cardines Field for Rhode Island Lions Sight Night in matchup two of the Pell Bridge Series against the Ocean State Waves. First pitch Friday night is at 6:35pm.