MONTPELIER – Offense was the name of the game for the Mountaineers during Saturday's 13-2 victory over the Newport Gulls.
The blowout marked Vermont's first meeting of the season against the Southern Division’s Gulls in New England Collegiate Baseball League action at Recreation Field.
Vermont entered the game attempting to build on its momentum from an exciting win against New Bedford on Friday night. Pitcher Sean Kealey started Saturday's game strong with a quick 1-2-3 inning. The offensive side quickly loaded the bases and the Mountaineers took an early lead, with Curtis Robison driving in Austin Gauthier and Matt McDermott with a double to right field with one out in the inning.
The Mountaineers offense continued to find holes in the field in the bottom of the second, as Gulls starting pitcher Connery Peters struggled to shut down Vermont’s hitters. McDermott brought Ciaran Devenney home on an error by the Gulls’ shortstop. With the bases still loaded, Gauthier and Straton Podaras were driven in on a fielder’s choice by Evan Giordano, followed by an error by the Gull’s third baseman.
Later in in the second inning McDermott tagged up on a sacrifice fly and scored another run while Giordano made his way to home on a single to left field by center fielder Connor Charping. By the end of the frame, the Mountaineers led 7-0.
The Mountaineers defense held strong through the third and fourth innings, helping Kealey escape a tough situation in the top of the fourth inning. Vermont shut down the Gulls' attempt to get things started offensively, denying the visitors during multiple scoring chances.
The Gulls were finally able to score in the top of the fifth when second baseman Jacob Gustin stole home on a double steal.
After Vermont added one insurance run in the sixth inning, the Mountaineers offense exploded again in the bottom of the seventh by loading the bases with just one out. Brian Goulard tagged up a sacrifice fly by McDermott. Cam Climo recorded his first hit of the night with a double to left field, bringing both Gauthier and Podaras home. Robison followed suit by poking a hit through to right field, driving Giordano home. Climo made it 13-1, scoring Vermont’s final run on a wild pitch.
The Gulls added a run in the ninth but were stopped when reliever Mitchell Sorensen induced a fly ball to end the game. Kealey picked up the win in six innings of work. He recorded five strikeouts and allowed one run on three hits and three walks. Ryan Steckline pitched two innings of relief without allowing a run or a hit. he finished with three strikeouts. Peters suffered the loss for Newport.
Vermont (17-13) will hit the road for the next three games. The Mountaineers will travel to play the Valley Blue Sox at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.