The win on Monday night for the Newport Gulls over the Sanford Mainers was a big one. Not only did they have celebrity Bill Murray cheering them on, but it also placed the Gulls first in the NECBL Eastern Division.
The theme of Monday night’s game was “Strike Out Cancer Night,” with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.
Pitcher Jacob Lee started his first game of the season strong. After only allowing one hit and no runs, striking out four and walking four, he was pulled in the middle of the fourth inning and replaced with Dan Zlotnick.
“He pitched one heck of a game,” Portsmouth resident and Gulls fan Jason Dunn said.
Lead-off batter Kyle Johnson hit a line-drive to center field and was followed by a Robbie Ort single. Both scored when Tim Kiene and Eric Johnson drove them in, giving the Gulls a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
The catch of the night for the Gulls defense came in the fourth inning as Eric Johnson dove for a line-drive to center field.
In the fifth inning, Matt Foat hit it out of the park, earning three runs for the Gulls and making the score 6-0.
At the top of the sixth inning, the Mainers scored two runs when the Gulls and Zlotnick was pulled and replaced with Brandon Sinnery.
Later in the game, with one out, a man on second and third base, the Mainers had the chance the tie the game but the inning ended when Johnson caught a pop fly ball.
The Gulls answered the Mainers runs when Foat once again hit a hard ground ball that went through the legs of the Mainers third baseman and into left field. A catching error at first and three more runs ran the score up to 9-2.
Mike Simcock replaced Sinnery and the final three outs of the game came easy for the Gulls.
“Congratulations on a job well done,” Bill Murray said to the players after the game. He was spotted watching the game amongst the fans at Mudville Pub. Several players asked him to sign baseballs after the game and he appeared impressed with their win.
The next Newport Gulls home game is Wednesday June 22 with the first pitch at 6:35 p.m.