Gulls fly past Mainers, win NECBL Championship title

SANFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It was an action packed sixth inning of game two of the New England Collegiate Baseball League Championship. The Newport Gulls put up 8 runs in the top of the inning, and the Sanford Mainers answered with 5 runs in the bottom of the inning. Turns out, that was it for scoring. The Mainers lose 8-5 to the Gulls, who are headed home with the NECBL championship title.

From the Mainers:

Sanford, ME- The Mainers had their ace on the mound Rich Vrana (Marist College) in a win or go home situation and Vrana worked a 5.2 innings tossing 99 pitches, 62 for strikes allowing just 3 earned runs 5 in total with 4 strikeouts, while keeping the Mainers within sights of the Newport Gulls. Tyler Barss (Univ. Rhode Island) lasted just one-third of an inning surrendering 3 runs on 2 hits as the Moose fell behind in the 6th inning. Jon Chudy (Pace University) worked 2 innings of shutout baseball striking out 4 Gulls and issuing just 1 walk, getting the ball to Cam Hatch (St. Edwards) in an unfamiliar role, the hold, Hatch did just that keeping the Mainers just 3 runs back after a 5 run bottom of the sixth in response to the Gulls 8 run top half.

Hatch blew the doors off the Gulls not allowing a hit and getting out of a jam in the top of the 9th. The Mainers had runners at the corners with 2 outs and the tying run up to bat, Sam Dexter (Southern Maine) who finished his night 4-for-4 worked a leadoff walk, Caden Bailey (Georgia State) followed that up with a walk putting two on, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Cory Raley (Texas Tech) popped out to right field and the runners held in scoring position. Stevie Berman (Santa Clara Univ.) pinch hit for Mike Rescigno (Univ. of Maryland), Berman worked a one ball and two strikes count taking a borderline called strike three for the second out. Kendall Patrick (Univ. of Michigan) came up for the second time tonight with runners in scoring position, in his first he worked a walk with the bases loaded in the sixth, the sixth was highlighted by 5 runs on 4 hits, including an RBI single by Matt Pagano (Marist College) and a 2 RBI single by Sam Dexter, here in the ninth Marc Huberman would get the best of the Mainers with a strike out swinging of Patrick to end the Mainers threat and secure the win for the Newport Gulls.

Newport Gulls starter Jack Patterson was touched up during his 5.2 innings of work for 10 hits and 5 runs. All of which came in the sixth inning, Caden Bailey recorded the first out with a lead off pop out to center, Cory Raley would single to centerfield and later score in the inning, Mike Rescigno singled to left and later score as well, a walk to Kendall Patrick with 1 out, and an RBI single to center by Matt Pagano bringing in Raley. Kevin Stypulkowski (Univ. of Maine) would reach on an error by Gulls third baseman Reed Gamache, one of two errors in the inning by Gamache, and Drake Parker (Vanderbilt) strikes out swinging for the second out. The Mainers still with runners on as Sam Balzano (Univ. of Maine) reaches on the second error by Gamache and then Dexter comes up and drives the first fastball he sees to the outfield playing both Stypulkowski and Balzano putting the score at 8-to-5 after 6 innings of NECBL Championship baseball.

Sam Balzano finished 1-for-5 with an RBI, Sam Dexter completed his season against Patterson 7-for-7 with his 4-for-4 night along with 2 RBI's, Caden Bailey went 1-for-4 with a walk, Cory Raley finished 1-for-5 with a run scored, Mike Rescigno 1-for-4 with a run scores and Kendall Patrick 0-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch his 15th of the season. Matt Pagano plated 1 RBI during his 2-for-4 evening Kevin Stypulkowski finished 1-for-4 with a run scored and Drake Parker went 0-for-4. The Mainers left 10 runners on base and threatened multiple times against the Gulls. As well as out-hitting Newport 10-to-8 but stranding runners in scoring position led to the game two loss and a 2-to-0 sweep for the Gulls to clinch their 6th NECBL Championship.

Rich Vrana was stellar this year, finishing with a 2.13 ERA in the playoffs with 1 win and 1 loss and an overall ERA of 1.80 as well as All-Star Northern Division starter. A great season for the Mainers with one of the most athletic and talented groups that has ever come through Sanford, Maine.

The Gulls finished with Tanner Donnels going 2-for-5, Blasé Salter driving in 2 RBI's on a 2 run home run, his only hit of the night finishing 1-for-5. Reed Gamache was plagued defensively with 2 errors but drove in 3 RBI's with one swing going 1-for-4 as three batters plate 6 of the 8 runs, 2 others coming across on 2 errors by the Mainers.

Tonight the Fay Vincent Sr. Cup goes to the Gulls by the final of 8-to-5, but the Mainers can hold their heads high as they recorded the most wins in a season under the helm of manager Aaron Izaryk with 24, also a franchise record 2.70 ERA which was second in the NECBL and of the best teams to ever play ball inside Goodall Park.

The final game inside Goodall Park, delighted fans and frustrated some, but it is Mainers baseball and Sanford as a city loves this team and their baseball. 744 faithful packed the park providing the sound effects to an outstanding summer at the Park and to put it simply, Why Not Us?


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