North Adams SteepleCats hang on in offensive thriller at Newport Gulls

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NEWPORT, R.I. — The Gulls scored seven runs over the final two innings Monday night, but still couldn't chase down the NECBL North Division-leading SteepleCats.

North Adams escaped a Rhode Island hit parade with an 11-10 victory.

The SteepleCats (16-7) rolled up 19 hits in the game, while Newport (13-11) swatted 17 and had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with Zaid Walker at the plate. Walker had already hit safely four times, including a solo home run in the second inning. However, in the biggest moment, Madison Jeffrey was up to the task. The West Virginia sophomore reliever walked two and gave up three hits and two earned runs in his two innings of work, but got Walker swinging with the tying run 90 feet away to seal the win.

North Adams actually led 11-3 after RBI doubles from Scout Knotts and Joseph Porricelli in the top of the eighth inning, but things went south in a hurry from there. Jacob Abbott came out for his third inning of relief after two scoreless, and Walker greeted him with a single, which was followed by four more singles and two runs, in succession, before the call was made for Jeffrey. It was a six-run eighth for Newport, closing the gap to 11-9. The Gulls loaded the bases in the ninth as well, and Jeffrey hit Ryan Toohers with a pitch to force in a run, before settling down and getting Walker on a three-pitch K.

North Adams got a 4 for 4 performance out of cleanup hitter Matt Koperniak, who also walked twice and is now batting .464 for the season. Tanner Thomas had four hits as well, including a solo home run in the fourth, his first of the summer. Tre Kirklin, Brian Picone, Paul Komistek, Knotts and Porricelli all had two hits. The SteepleCats hit seven doubles, led by Koperniak with a pair.

Nicholas Payero got the win, going five innings and striking out four against two walks and six hits. He allowed just two earned runs.

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Isaiah Thomas also homered for Newport.

With the Keene Swampbats losing to Mystic on Monday, North Adams moves to a game-and-a-half up in the division. The SteepleCats remain on the road this week with games aat Upper Valley and Winnipesaukee before a return home Friday night against Valley.

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North Adams     000     500     240     —     11     19     2

Newport     010     110     061     —     10     17     3

Nicholas Payero (5), Jacob Abbott (2), Madison Jeffrey (2) and Shane Muntz. Justin Cherry (3 2/3), Michael Sansone (4), Patrick Maybach (1 1/3) and Peter Serruto. W — Payero. L — Cherry. 2B — NA (Matt Koperniak 2, Brian Picone, Scout Knotts, Tanner Thomas, Jeff Porricelli, Tre Kirklin); N (James). HR — NA (Thomas); N (Isaiah Thomas, Zaid Walker). T — 3:04. A — 1,959.     

Newport     010     110     061     —     10     17     3

Nicholas Payero (5), Jacob Abbott (2), Madison Jeffrey (2) and Shane Muntz. Justin Cherry (3 2/3), Michael Sansone (4), Patrick Maybach (1 1/3) and Peter Serruto. W — Payero. L — Cherry. 2B — NA (Matt Koperniak 2, Brian Picone, Scout Knotts, Tanner Thomas, Jeff Porricelli, Tre Kirklin); N (James). HR — NA (Thomas); N (Isaiah Thomas, Zaid Walker). T — 3:04. A — 1,959.     

Nicholas Payero (5), Jacob Abbott (2), Madison Jeffrey (2) and Shane Muntz. Justin Cherry (3 2/3), Michael Sansone (4), Patrick Maybach (1 1/3) and Peter Serruto. W — Payero. L — Cherry. 2B — NA (Matt Koperniak 2, Brian Picone, Scout Knotts, Tanner Thomas, Jeff Porricelli, Tre Kirklin); N (James). HR — NA (Thomas); N (Isaiah Thomas, Zaid Walker). T — 3:04. A — 1,959.     


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