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Mainers Blow Pitcher's Duel Wide Open in the 8th to Down Newport

July 11, 2018 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) - Sanford Mainers News Release

Newport, R.I. - The Sanford Mainers made the most out of their one and only trip to Newport on Wednesday night as they downed the Gulls by a final 7-1 after blowing the game open in the 8th which put a cherry on top of an outstanding night on the hill for Mainers' pitchers. The win was a big one as it kicks off a stretch of seven games in six days for the Moose with a bang.

For a third straight game, the Mainers went on top early as they were able to bring the first run of the game home in the top of the 3rd inning. After Josh Zbierski (Stafford Springs, Conn./SNHU) walked to lead off the inning and Randy Bednar (Bethesda, Md./Maryland) singled, Nick Howie (Oakville, Ontario, Canada/Eastern Kentucky) put down one of four Sanford sacrifice bunts on the night to move them into scoring position. After a strikeout and a walk that loaded the bases with two outs, Tyler Solomon (Haymarket, Va./Vanderbilt) drew his league-leading 21st walk of the season that put the Mainers up 1-0.

Matt Dockman (Hilliard, Ohio/Duke) didn't need much in the way of runs tonight as he was sensational in his second start of the 2018 NECBL season. The Blue Devil lefty put up five scoreless innings allowing just a single hit while striking out five and not allowing a baserunner to pass second base during his time on the mound.

The game remained locked in a 1-0 battle until the top of the 8th inning when the Mainers would put the game out of reach for good. The Moose loaded the bases with nobody out in the inning as Zbierski was able to work an 0-2 count into an RBI walk to put across the 2nd run of the game. Two straight fielder's choice plays with outs made at the plate made it look as if the Gulls were going to be able to wiggle out of a nasty spot, but the Mainers were not done yet as they finally saw a little two-out magic work in their favor.

Austin Lively (Redmond, Wash./Seattle) brought home another run as he squibbed a ball off the end of the bat that was bobbled by the pitcher and made it 3-0 Sanford. The very next batter was Johnny Rizer (Cypress, TX/Texas Christian University) who promptly brought everybody home as he crushed a two-out Grand Slam deep into the Newport night to blow the game wide open as after 8 innings the Mainers led 7-0. A huge confidence booster for the young Horned Frog as he saw a similar chance to other night pass him by, but made sure he took advantage in a huge spot on the road as it gave his pitching staff all the cushion they could want.

The bullpen did their thing as usual for the Moose as Angelo Smith (Thornton, Illinois/Michigan), Sean Fisher (Parsonsburg, Md./Maryland), Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Southern Maine), and Jack Weisenburger (Rockford, Mich./Michigan) threw up four innings of relief allowing just two hits and striking out six with the lone run of the game for Newport crossing the plate on a passed ball with one out in the 9th. This is the second time this season that the Mainers have held a Southern Division team to three hits or fewer in a game, the first being in the 11-inning 1-0 win at Mystic.

A great way to start a very tough stretch for Sanford as they will head back home on Thursday night to host Winnipesaukee before a big time double-header on Friday against the 1st place Valley Blue Sox. You can catch all the action on the NECBL Broadcast Network where Mike Glennon will have the call as always as the Moose try to keep it going in a crucial stretch of divisional games. Head on over to or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up with everything the Mainers have for you as they continue to push towards the playoffs over the final weeks of the season.

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New England Collegiate Baseball League Stories from July 11, 2018

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