Written by Jacob Ouellette
Heading into Friday night, the Sanford Mainers were locked into a fourth seed spot for the first round of the NECBL playoffs, having to take on the Newport Gulls.
The Gulls had defeated the Mainers seven of eight times through the regular season, and continued that into game one of the playoffs that took place at Cardines Field in Newport, Rhode Island.
Jordan Hagel got things started for the Mainers in the top of the first with a solo blast to put his team up 1-0. However, that home run was soon forgotten as the game progressed.
In the bottom of the first the Gulls tied it up when the first two hitters reached base, and then Kasey Coffman hit a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Charlie White to tag up from third and score.
Newport scraped away and scored every inning except for the eighth in which they were retired in order for the one and only time in the game.
With the score eventually sitting at 6-1 in favor of the Gulls, they further extended their lead on a three run home run off the bat of Matt Pare; a towering shot to center field.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Gulls offense went to work once more, scoring five times on three hits. With a leadoff double and back to back walks, the bases were loaded with no outs. Coffman hit an RBI single to right, followed by a two-RBI double to left, scoring White and Conor Keniry. Nate Jones came in for relief and got the next two outs by ground balls, but two more runs came into score, blowing open the game to 14-1.
The score stayed that way until the Mainers came up to the plate in the top of the ninth and scored one more run. Hagel collected his fourth hit of the game to lead things off and advanced to second on a ground out by Anthony Hajjar. During the next at bat Hagel reached third on a defensive indifference. Jordan Betts walked, but Nate LaPointe would ground out allowing Hagel to score the Mainers second run.
The Mainers now face elimination as they host the Gulls at Goodall Park tomorrow in Sanford. Jerry Ferris is set to take the hill for the Moose in hopes to force a game three. Game time is slated for 6:30pm.
Final Box Score
WP: Daniel Wright (7-0, 1-0) LP: Rohn Pierce (2-4, 0-1) SV: None