Montpelier, Vt. - The Newport Gulls jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back as they defeated Vermont 17-7 at Montpelier Recreation Field in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action on Tuesday night. The loss snapped a five game win streak for the Mountainers (17-17) who fell back to .500 on the season.
Newport (25-9) started the scoring early as the first four batters reached in the top of the first of Vermont starter Richie Ochoa taking a 2-0 with before an out was recorded. After striking out Austin Slater for the first out, Ochoa (Friday Harbour, Wash./Washington State) gave up a three run home run to Joel McKeithan taking a 5-0 advantage. Ochoa escaped the inning after that but again struggled in the second giving up four more runs on four hits as the Gulls took a 9-0 lead into the bottom of the second.
The Mountaineers then tried to get back into the game as Johnny Mishu (Nashville, Tenn./Princeton) led off the inning with his third homer of the year to get his team on the board. Cole Peragine doubled and Brett Johnson walked before Aaron Barbosa reached on an error from McKeithan to load the bases with one out. Brian O'Grady (Warminster, Pa./Rutgers) hit a two RBI double to cut the lead to 9-3. After a Logan Pierce strikeout, Rob Kelly (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Saint Anselm) hit a broken bat, two RBI single to cut the deficit to four. He would be followed by an Austin Green (San Diego, Calif./San Diego) two run blast to make the score 9-7 as the Mountaineers sent 10 men to the plate in the inning.
Unfortunately, it would be all the scoring Vermont would get as Newport starter Michael Johnson set down the next six batters in order to begin a string of seven scoreless innings tossed by Gulls pitching. David Schmidt pitched four scoreless in relief while Caleb Kellogg spun a perfect ninth inning to end the game.
The Gulls would add to their lead in the fourth as Andrew LaBlanc (Unionville, Conn./Clark) gave up three runs, including a two run shot from Rob Ort, to push the Newport lead to 12-7. They would tack on two more in the seventh off Tyler Rogers (Littleton, Colo./Austin Peay) and then another three unearned run in the eighth against Corey MacDonald (Davis, Calif./Hawaii) to pick up their league leading 25th win of the summer.
Schmidt (1-0) took the win allowing just two hits and two walks in his four innings of relief while Ochoa (2-2) took the loss giving up nine runs on nine hits. In the top of the ninth, local product (Montpelier, Vt./Endicott) tossed a scoreless inning striking out two and walking two in his first appearance of the season.
The Mountaineers will return to action on Wednesday when they host the North Adams SteepleCats for a 6:30 p.m. start. All the game action can be heard live on ESPN 1240, WSKI and online at www.thevermontmountaineers.com
Game Notes: Kelly's two RBI's give him 39 for the year as he took the NECBL lead in that category.