Written by Jacob Ouellette
On July 26 the Sanford Mainers hosted the Newport Gulls for the final meeting at Goodall Park. They had defeated them 2-1 in the game prior and they looked to do the same thing then. After the game became tied and headed into extra-innings, the game was halted due to rain and was completed on Monday, July 30 at Newport.
Newport took the game with a final score of 8-3, in which the offense came alive in the top of the eleventh inning, back in Sanford.
Newport got on the board first in the top of the third inning when Blake Butera singled with one out. Charlie White dropped down a sacrifice bunt immediately after, pushing Butera to second base. Jeff Melillo stepped into the box and battled a few pitches off while having a 3-2 count, however, won the battle by doubling to right-center field, scoring Butera.
The Mainers answered in the bottom of the fourth when Ino Patron hit a line drive to left-center field. After stealing third during the next at bat, he crossed the plate with the tying run on an RBI single by Jordan Hagel.
It remained tied until the top of the seventh when Butera came around to score from second after singling and stealing his way to the base. Kasey Coffman claimed the RBI in that inning putting the Gulls ahead 2-1.
After a brief 36 minute rain delay in the eighth, the Mainers took the lead. Brett Armour reached on a fielder’s choice. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and then another ninety feet on a passed ball.
Cam Young hit a fly ball to Rob Ort in right field, allowing Armour to tag up at third and tie the game at 2. With two outs, Will Cooper walked and then went to third on a single by Patron. However, on the throw to third base Patron was able to move up to second. Hagel would be intentionally walked to load the bases, however, Jordan Betts was walked on five pitches forcing in the go ahead run.
Steven Rice came into the game to close it out in the ninth, but not before a lot of confusion. Rice got Ort to line out for the first out of the inning, but then loaded the bases on the next three batters. On a ground ball to Young, he tagged Matt Pare, flipped on to first for the second and final out.
As the umpires were walking off the field and the Mainers were celebrating the win, Gulls manager, Mike Coombs went out to argue the call at first base. He was ejected soon after and the umpires continued to make their way off the field. The Gulls continued to argue the play while the Mainers were standing at home plate waiting to shake hands, but the argument continued.
The umpires had made their way off the field, but five minutes later returned with the ruling that the tying run had crossed the plate before the second out, even after they ruled the game official and walked out the gate.
The game was forced to be continued and the Mainers had a chance in the bottom of the ninth, but were unable to score. In the top of the eleventh, the rain started to come down heavy and the Gulls tacked up five more runs including a bases clearing triple off the bat of Brett Winger, all part of making the score 8-3.
The game was halted heading into the bottom of the eleventh and was scheduled to be completed at Cardines Field in Newport, Rhode Island on Monday, July 30.
Anthony Hajjar, Paul Kronenfeld, and Jose Torralba were the three hitters due up to bat to start the eleventh inning. Daniel Wright came on for the Gulls to finish the game. He struck out the side, not before Torralba singled and reached second on a throwing error.
Final Box Score
WP: Caleb Kellogg (2-0) LP: Al Zeiher (0-1) SV: None