Zach Letson – Broadcaster and Team Publicist

NORWICH, C.T. – Behind another explosive night at the plate, and dominant bullpen pitching, Newport (29-14) beat Mystic (22-20) 11-6 Thursday at Dodd Stadium. The Gulls scored eight unanswered runs to end the game.

Newport set the tone in the top of the second. A sacrifice fly from Josh Kuroda-Grauer and a two-RBI double gave the Gulls a 3-0 advantage off Mystic NECBL All-Star Reid Easterly.

After Mystic scored six straight to snatch their own three-run lead, the Gulls responded in the fifth. Colton Ledbetter connected on his NECBL-best 56th hit and 46th RBIs to bring Newport to within two. Noah Martinez followed with an infield single to cut that deficit in half, and it was a 6-5 game entering the sixth.

That’s when the Gulls took control. Ledbetter tied the game with a bases-loaded walk. His Mississippi State teammate Slate Alford followed, and unloaded a grand slam to catapult Newport back in front, 10-6. It’s only the fifth home run hit at pitcher-friendly Dodd Stadium all summer. Two have been hit by Gulls. For Alford, it’s a third homer in two games, and a ninth this summer, which sits third across the NECBL.

On the mound, Ryan Ginther took over in the fifth and was dominant in relief. The Week 5 NECBL Pitcher of the Week picked up the win, throwing three brilliant, one-hit innings. The Vanderbilt southpaw did not allow a run and struck out six. As a team, the Gulls held the Schooners scoreless after the fourth inning.

The win came in Newport’s final road game of the regular season. The Gulls close out the regular season slate tomorrow night against the Ocean State Waves (21-21). First pitch is at 6:35pm from Cardines Field. A victory, or a Martha’s Vineyard loss, would clinch the Coastal Division for Newport. The Gulls are already safely in a playoff spot. The NECBL Playoffs begin August 1.