Clutch Double Drops SteepleCats in North Adams
The North Adams SteepleCats began All-Star Weekend with a losing effort on Saturday night, falling 7-5 to the Newport Gulls at Joe Wolfe Field. Newport scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take their first and only lead of the night.
Newport jumped out to an early lead with a run in the top of the first. Drew Arciolo (Fairfield) doubled on the first pitch of the game, but starter Braxton Wilks (Abilene Christian) retired the next two hitters. Nick Derr (Florida State) got the Gulls on the board with an RBI single to right field.
The SteepleCats took their first lead in the bottom of the second with three runs, which all scored with two outs. Singles from Tyler Walters (Slippery Rock) and Taylor Lane (Arizona State), as well as a hit by pitch drawn by JJ Shimko (South Carolina Upstate), loaded the bases. A fielder's choice saw the lead runner thrown out at the plate, but kept the bases loaded with two outs. Jonathan Engelmann (Michigan) got the 'Cats on the board with a two-out single, and Michael Gulino (Pace) added an RBI single of his own.
A run in the top of the fourth got the Gulls back within a run. Newport hit four consecutive singles, the third of which was an RBI base hit from Liam O'Regan (Elon). Wilks finished his final start of the season by getting Arciolo to pop out to maintain a 3-2 lead.
North Adams scored two more runs in the bottom half of the frame. Gulino tripled with one out, and was driven in by Dillon Paulson (USC), who stretched his hit streak to 17 games with an RBI single. Eddie Haus (St. Mary's) and Lane added singles to drive in Paulson and increase the SteepleCat lead to 5-2. Gulino, Walters, and Lane each had three hits in the losing effort.
The Gulls scored twice in the top of the fifth without the aid of a hit. Newport drew four walks, scoring their runs on a groundout from Derr and an error.
Three runs in the top of the seventh gave Newport a lead they would not relinquish. Two walks and an error loaded the bases for the Gulls, and pinch-hitter JJ Bleday (Vanderbilt) blasted a three-run double to provide the winning runs for the visitors.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the SteepleCats were able to load the bases, but were unable to get any runs across as Matt Murphy (Rhode Island) earned his third save.
All-Star Weekend in North Adams continues Sunday with the All-Star Game festivities. The Home Run Derby, 60 Yard Dash, and the game itself will take place at Joe Wolfe Field for the first time in ten seasons.
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New England Collegiate Baseball League Stories from July 30, 2017
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