By: Caden Charpentier – Media Operations Coordinator
For the first time since 2015, the Newport Gulls (16-8) have won eight in a row. With an electric environment on hand to will the Gulls on, Newport did not disappoint, taking both the contests against the Upper Valley Nighthawks (12-12) in a doubleheader at Cardines Field. The Gulls captured the first game 4-1, and the hectic second contest by a score of 3-2 in seven innings Wednesday night.
Pitching has been the continued story of the Newport winning streak, and Wednesday was no different. The Gulls sent two of their most potent arms to the mound to face a Nighthawks team that possesses a plethora of individual talent in their lineup. Kevin Seitter pitched in the first contest, going six innings, allowing just one run on seven hits while punching out six in the process.
The Quinnipiac righty has now allowed just two runs on 22 innings pitched for Newport this summer, and possesses the second-best ERA out of all qualified pitchers in the entire NECBL. Cole Stasio closed the door on the Upper Valley comeback, striking out two of the final three batters, and recording his first save of the season.
In the second contest, Newport relied on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, Logan Mcguire to build off his last start against the Schooners. McGuire did just that, going five innings, allowing just two runs, and striking out seven of the 19 batters he faced. Mcguire has now struck out 18 batters in his last 11 innings of work and the Gulls move to 5-1 in games that he pitches. In relief of McGuire, Louisville’s Seamus Barrett closed the game by pitching two innings and allowing just two hits while punching out four as he continues to put the first contest in the rear-view mirror. The Gulls got the final out of the night on a play at the plate, as Josh Kuroda-Grauer threw out Upper Valley’s Luca Trigiani at the plate to end the game and put the finishing touches on a doubleheader sweep.
On the offensive side of things on Wednesday, Newport collected seven hits in each game, including some timely hitting from the most prolific of hitters in the Gulls’ lineup. With two hits against the Nighthawks over two contests, the East Carolina Pirate Alec Makarewicz extended his hitting streak to an astounding 15 games. His most memorable one of the day was a blast over the right-field wall to put the first game to bed. It was his second home run of the season, and first at Cardines Field.
In possibly his final game in a Newport Gulls uniform, Air Force’s Sam Kulasingam put together another excellent performance. In game two of the doubleheader, Kulasingam collected two hits including a single in the fifth inning that ignited the Newport comeback. At the end of the fifth inning, Slate Alford possibly produced the biggest hit in the game, shooting a double down the left-field line that would end up scoring the winning run in the ball game.
Kolton Freeman continued his hot streak at the plate, collecting a hit in each game of the doubleheader. The Dartmouth outfielder has had a hit in seven out of his eight games played for the Gulls this summer. His lead-off double in the fourth inning was his first extra-base hit of the season as the electric left fielder continues to be the spark this Newport lineup has needed.
Mississippi State’s Colton Ledbetter worked in the three-hole all day for Newport, collecting two hits, including a massive double that scored the first Gulls’ run of the second game. On top of the production from the top of the lineup, Noah Martinez was able to get the job done from the sixth spot in the lineup in the first contest. Martinez maintains his hot hitting, collecting two more hits in his three at-bats.
With another two wins in the back pocket, the Gulls travel to Bristol, Connecticut to take on the West Division first-place Bristol Blues (18-6) at Muzzy Field in a battle of two division leaders. The Gulls travel back to the confines of Cardines Field on Friday to take on the Winnipesaukee Muskrats (10-13) as they look to sweep the season series on DAI Restoration Night.