The Danbury Westerners won an absolute shootout with the Newport Gulls 10-9 at Cardines Field on June 16.
Danbury [4-5] catcher Jack Payton hit an RBI single to score designated hitter Zach Selinger to give the Westerners a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Danbury loaded the bases later on the inning before a Matt Zaffino swinging strikeout ended the opening frame.
The Gulls [6-2] fought back in the bottom of the first when Newport DH Justin Guerrera hit a two-run home run to center field to make the score 2-1 Newport. The Gulls added another run in the second off of an RBI single from Newport left fielder Conor Kiely.
Danbury tied the game at three apiece in the top of the fourth inning with a John Anderson RBI single and a Nicholas Lorusso sacrifice fly that scored Zach Selinger.
In the top of the fifth inning, Danbury added four runs to regain the lead from Newport. Banks Griffith hit an RBI single, John Anderson scored two Westerners on a double off the right-center field fencing at Cardines Field and Nick Lorusso scored another run with a double of his own.
Spenser Smith got a run back for the Gulls in the top of the sixth inning on a solo shot to right field. Newport also loaded the bases before Conor Kiely lined a hard hit ball to left field that was caught Matt Zaffino on a diving catch in left field to strand the tying runners on base.
Newport rallied in the eighth by loading the bases against Westerner reliever Coleman Picard. Jordan Rogers and Sam Cochrane each hit two-RBI singles to bring Newport ahead to an 8-7 lead.
Matt Zaffino started Danbury’s ninth inning with a walk, and Dillon Lifrieri reached on an error from Newport shortstop Spenser Smith. After a Newport pitching change and a Banks Griffith sac bunt, Zach Selinger brought in Matt Zaffino on a sac fly to tie the game.
Danbury’s next batter John Anderson continued his hot Westerner start by hitting his second home run in two games over the left-field wall. He was met by his teammates at home plate, securing a 10-8 Danbury score and the Danbury Westerner’s Player of the Game nomination for the night.
Bryce Hulett slapped a solo shot of his own to right field, cutting the deficit to one before Noah Jensen recovered and ended the game on a groundout for the 10-9 final score.
Coleman Picard picked up the win in an inning of relief for Danbury while Noah Jensen got the save, halting Newport’s four-game winning streak. The loss was credited to Newport reliever Bo Brutti who gave up two unearned runs in a third of an inning of work to begin the ninth inning.
The Westerners return to Rogers Park tonight to take on the Bristol Blues at 6:30 PM. The game will be livestreamed on the NECBL Network.