By Caden Charpentier – Media Operations Assistant
A back and forth thrilling game ended with Newport (1-1) edging their long-time rivals, the Mystic Schooners (1-1) 8-7 Wednesday night at Cardines Field, giving the Gulls their first win of 2022.
Parker Haskin was the hero for Newport in the bottom of the eighth inning, delivering a pinch-hit RBI double that proved to be the difference.
In a Newport uniform for the first time, Air Force Falcon star first baseman Sam Kulasingham demonstrated why he was the first Falcon to win the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, blasting the second pitch he saw over the tall outfield wall. Kulasingham’s blast in the first inning would end up being the first of his two home runs on the night. At the end of the night, Kulasingham was named the Southcoast Health Player of the Game. The North Carolina native went 3-5 including two RBIs from the leadoff spot as he begins his summer with the Gulls in the best way possible.
The Texas Longhorn Daniel Blair set the tone for Newport on the mound. Blair went 4.0 innings which included two scoreless, allowing three earned runs on five total hits. Liam LeVangie came out in relief of Blair and used the combination of his fastball and elite curveball to frustrate the bats of the Schooners for his first two innings. LeVangie went 1-2-3 in the fifth and the sixth innings, but a blast by Pagliarini with the bases loaded propelled Mystic to its first lead since the top of the first inning.
Dartmouth arm Tyler Cortland was the last pitcher out of the bullpen for the Gulls in their home opener. Cortland threw two scoreless innings in the eighth and the ninth. His two innings of hitless baseball were good enough to obtain the win. It becomes Cortland’s sixth win as a pitcher in 2022 dating back to this past season with the Big Green.
Newport returns to action against the North Shore Navigators (0-2) at Fraser Field on Thursday at 6:35 pm. The Gulls return to the confines of Cardines Field for another Halloran Sage Cup showdown in a clash against the Valley Blue Sox on Friday night at 6:35 on Newport This Week Little League Night.