The Danbury Westerners used the strength of two home runs and a strong bullpen performance as they took down the Newport Gulls 9-4 to remain perfect on the young NECBL season.
The look of Wednesday’s game was different compared to previous ones. Manager Josh Parrow elected to go with a more analytical lineup. Even with the new look lineup, the team didn’t skip a beat.
“Everybody’s here to develop and get better,” said Parrow. “When you have a lineup like ours, it doesn’t matter if someone has an off day. It’s the next man up.”
One of the biggest keys to success early on in the season has been jumping on top early. They did so once again as with one on and one out in the top of the second, designated hitter Jay Curtis cleared the high wall in left field for a two-run home run to give Danbury the quick 2-0 lead.
The home run would allow starting pitcher Justin Campbell to work with a lead. He ran into trouble in the third inning, when the Gulls would even the score thanks to two singles and a walk followed by a double play would help Newport pull even. They would take the lead the following inning on an RBI fielder’s choice to make the score 3-2 after four innings. It would be the first time in two games that the Westerners played from behind.
But it would not last for long.
In the following top half of the inning, Danbury would put runners on first and second with one out courtesy of singles by Jack McCarthy and Matt Zeffino. It would bring catcher Cameron Cerruto, who homered in his first game with the team in their last game against Vermont. He would come through for the team once again by launching a three-run home run over the left field fence to give Danbury the 5-3 lead.
“I’m feeling really good right now,” said Cerruto. “Right now, it’s ‘See the ball, hit the ball, and be aggressive’”.
Newport would knock on the door again in the bottom of the fifth as they loaded the bases with two outs but Campbell would strike out Ryan Toohers to end the threat, one of his eight strikeouts in five innings of work.
Danbury would tack insurance runs in the top of the eighth thanks to sloppy Newport defense. After Vinny Bailey and Nick Lorusso reached base on back to back singles, Justin Jordan laid down a bunt that was thrown wildly to first, allowing Bailey to score and Lorusso to advance to third. With following batter Jay Curtis at the plate, Jordan ran all the way to third on a throwing error by Newport catcher Colton Bender and allowed Lorusso to cross the plate. Curtis would drive in Jordan on an RBI double. Curtis would advance to third and eventually score on a pair of wild pitches.
Just three days after the Danbury bullpen pitched six innings of two-run baseball in their win against Vermont on Sunday, they answered the call once again Wednesday evening. After Campbell went the first five, Nick Borek pitched three innings allowing only one run and Joe Vail pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the victory.
“The guys we are putting on the mound have experience,” said Parrow. “They have something to prove every time they step on the mound.”
The Westerners, who improve to 5-0 look to remain perfect when they return home to host the Vermont Mountaineers.