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By: Caden Charpentier – Media Operations Coordinator
For the second time so far this season, the Newport Gulls (13-8) are walk-off winners at Cardines Field. It was the first time since 2018 that the Gulls have played on the Fourth of July, and Newport did not disappoint, defeating the North Shore Navigators (6-16) in a 7-6 thriller in 11 innings Monday.
With the game in the balance in the bottom of the 11th inning, the East Carolina Pirate Alec Makarewicz came up to the plate with his 12-game hitting streak on the line. With the inherited runner al on second base to begin the frame, Makarewicz drove the first pitch he saw through the gap in the right side of the infield to score the winning run, and push the Newport winning streak to six games. Makarewicz extended his hitting streak to 13 games and put together his first three-RBI day at the plate as a Gull on Monday night.
On the mound, Dominic Perachi pitched for the first time at Cardines Field in a Gulls uniform after three scoreless road outings. Monday, Perachi went 4.2 innings and allowed just three runs on three hits while punching out three batters in the process. Out of the bullpen, the catalyst that played a massive role in guiding Newport to the victory was the Wright State right-hander, Garret Simpson.
Simpson came in for lengthy relief, going four innings of relief while allowing just one run on three hits against the 15 batters that he faced. It was Simpson’s fourth outing for Newport so far this summer. It was the longest Simpson had gone in a game all summer as he continues to make the case as one of the most reliable pitchers out of the bullpen. Dartmouth right-hander Tyler Cortland came in for the final inning of relief for the Gulls in the 11th. Even with a man starting at second base in extra innings, Cortland still managed to put together his third scoreless outing of the summer.
Newport had eight hits on the night, and two of them came via the solo home run. Colton Ledbetter continues his prolific display of power at Cardines Field, blasting his seventh home run of the season over the center-field wall. Ledbetter has now homered in six out of the last seven games at home. Jos Kuroda-Grauer followed with his second long ball of the summer in the fifth inning with two outs. With two home runs on Monday night, the Gulls moved just two homers shy of tying the Keene Swamp Bats for the league-lead 20 home runs on the season.
After winning the first matchup with the Navigators at Cardines Field since 2011, Newport is back home against the Upper Valley Nighthawks (12-10) for a doubleheader Wednesday that begins at 4:05 pm. The Gulls now possess a two-game lead over the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks in the Coastal Division.