The Newport Gulls slugged 16 hits for ten runs on the way to defeating the Muskrats 10-3 Wednesday night in Rhode Island. The win was Newport’s seventh over Laconia this regular season.
Coming off a day of rest in which the inactive Muskrats learned they have locked up a spot in the postseason for the third consecutive year, Laconia did not have a pleasant final visit to the site of their 2011 playoff upset.
It was a back-and-forth, one-run game through the first three innings before Newport struck for four runs in the fourth and broke it open. They would pile on three extra runs in the late innings.
Wil Leathers (Spartanburg Methodist) extended his hit streak to 13 games with doubles in the first and third innings. He scored on both those trips around, and was involved in all three Muskrats runs, driving in Chris Harvey (Vanderbilt) the second time. Leathers had to hustle to make it a double, as the ball landed in shallow center and left no one covering second base.
Nevin Wilson (Vanderbilt) was excited for his chance to atone for an early-season start at Newport in which he gave up seven runs in just one inning, sending the Gulls on to a 16-3 win. Wilson stuck around longer in this one, but allowed seven runs again, this time only six earned.
Danny Collins (Troy) had two singles, but was thrown out trying to stretch the first into a double. He seemed all too aware of his chance at more history, as he could not break the extra-base hits record on this night.
Laconia could not avoid a seventh loss to the Gulls on the summer, a stat that no other team in modern NECBL history had achieved before the Gulls beat Mystic for a seventh time on July 18th. That stat is largely due to the fact that divisional opponents are playing each other eight times in the regular season for the first time.
Newport’s Daniel Wright (Arkansas St) got his sixth win of the summer, tying him for the League lead with Danbury’s Brett Houseal (Marist).
Laconia is off both Thursday and Friday, before returning to action in Mystic on Saturday. The Schooners cannot mathematically catch up to the Muskrats, who only have four games remaining. They could, however, catch the Mainers, as they each have eight games to go.