Bay Sox Sunk by Three-Run Inning, as Gulls Drop New Bedford 3-1
A three-run fourth inning sunk the New Bedford Bay Sox in the first game of their unconventional doubleheader on Friday afternoon, as they fell 3-1 to the Newport Gulls in a seven-inning tilt at Paul Walsh Field.
With both teams slated to host games on Friday night, the Bay Sox and Gulls met at noon for their seven-inning contest, which was a makeup of a rainout from Tuesday night. New Bedford outhit Newport 7-6, with Ryan Markey (St. John's) the only Bay Sox with multiple hits, but they could only muster up one run off of a solid duo of Gulls' hurlers during the perfect summer conditions.
The Bay Sox took a 1-0 lead on a strange play in the bottom of the third, with a run coming across the plate on an error by Gulls' left fielder Greg Cavaliere. Three singles and a fielder's choice placed three ducks on the pond with just one down for Rafe Chaumette (Trinity), who popped a fly ball to middle depth left field. The routine fly was dropped by Cavaliere, allowing Josh Goldstein (Southern New Hampshire) to score the only Bay Sox run, but Thomas Blandini (Southern New Hampshire) was easily thrown out at third base, as all three runners were retreating back to their bases.
New Bedford starter Will Tomlinson (Brown) ran into trouble in the fourth, loading the bases with no outs on two walks and a single. A sacrifice fly by Hayden Jones brought in the first Newport run, and a balk with runners on the corners plated the eventual winning run. Gulls leadoff hitter Scott Holzwasser ripped an RBI single off of reliever Kyle Johnson (Holy Cross) to complete the scoring in the inning, which was more than enough offense for Newport (22-15) as they battle with Martha's Vineyard for the top spot in the Southern Division.
The Gulls wasted a golden opportunity to blow the game open in the fifth, loading the bases on two singles and a hit batter, as cleanup hitter Justyn-Henry Malloy was tagged three times by all three Bay Sox pitchers. Johnson buckled down to retire the next three hitters via a fielder's choice, with Sam Henrie (Southern New Hampshire) gunning down Chris Hamilton at the plate, and two fly outs to keep the Gulls off the scoreboard.
Newport's Sam Jacobsak shut down the New Bedford offense for the majority of the afternoon, but the home squad had a chance to cut into the deficit in the penultimate sixth inning. Chaumette led off with a double, the only Bay Sox extra-base hit, but was stranded at third base, as the heart of the New Bedford lineup came up empty handed. Jimmy Kingsbury hurled a 1-2-3 seventh inning for his fourth save, while Jacobsak moved to 2-1 - with two saves of his own - in the win.
Tomlinson took the loss, allowing all three runs in his 3.1 inning outing, to move his record to 1-1 on the season, while Johnson tossed 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball and Matthew Thomas (Trinity) threw a clean seventh inning on just 11 pitches.
The loss is New Bedford's fourth in a row, dropping them to 11-27 on the season, though they still have a winning record on home soil with four home games remaining, including one in Winnipesaukee next Wednesday in another unconventional doubleheader that rounds out the season.
New Bedford hosts Keene in their regularly scheduled home game Friday night, then travels to North Adams on Saturday before the All-Star Game on Sunday at Montpelier, VT. Chaumette is the only Bay Sox representative in the game, and he'll rejoin his teammates for Tuesday's doubleheader with Ocean State in the home finales, which begins at 4:30pm.
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