Catcher Alex DeLeon blasted a solo home run in the first inning and outfielder Rob Ort added a two-run shot in the fourth inning to provide all the offense the Gulls needed to help starting pitcher Daniel Wright, who threw seven solid innings, allowing just two runs on six hits with 11 strikeouts improve to 2-0 this season as the Gulls defeated the Laconia Muskrats 3-2 at Cardines Field on Monday, June 18.
“I’m just doing what I can to help the team get wins and hopefully a championship,” said Wright.
With the victory, Newport remains undefeated (4-0) at home this season, improving to 5-1 overall, while Laconia falls to 4-4 with the loss. The Gulls remain in first place in the Eastern Division one game ahead of the New Bedford Bay Sox and pull two games ahead of Laconia.
DeLeon, who finished 2-for-4 on the night, hit a towering solo home run to right field, his second home run of the season, off Laconia starter Matthew Aldrich in the first inning to give the Gulls the early lead. Aldrich (0-1) took the loss despite allowing just three runs on five hits while striking out 12 over six and two thirds innings of work.
Ort, who also went 2-for-4, tacked on a pair of runs with a two-run home run, his second homer of the summer, with two outs in the fourth inning to extend the Gulls lead to 3-0. DeLeon and Ort combined for four of the Gulls six hits as a team on the night.
Wright cruised through his first six innings of work in his second start of the season, allowing just one hit while striking out 10 batters. Wright ran into trouble in the seventh inning after allowing back-to-back singles to outfielder Danny Collins (the NECBL’s reigning Player of the Week) and first baseman Tyler Jackson and giving up an RBI double to catcher Ethan Bennett.
Pinch hitter Donny Duschinsky followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field to pull the Muskrats within a run, 3-2, but Wright escaped the jam by getting third baseman Vince Conde to ground out and striking out second baseman Nick Camastro.
Reliever Peter Kelich worked the final two innings striking out five Muskrats en route to his first save of the summer. Laconia got the tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning, but catcher Ethan Bennett was picked off and tagged out in a wild rundown to end the game.
Newport will be back in action taking on the Sanford Mainers on the road on Wednesday, June 20. Tanner Chleborad (1-0, 3.60 ERA) will make his second start of the summer for the Gulls.
Information provided by the Newport Gulls.