|SteepleCats Bats Come Alive In Win Over Newport|
|By John Wood, North Adams SteepleCats|
12:41AM / Monday, June 11, 2018
|Cameron Kovachik throws from the mound Sunday Night as the SteepleCats were able to hold off the Newport Gulls 14-9|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — After a quiet first three games, the bats of the North Adams SteepleCats have finally awoken.
In a game where eight from the SteepleCats lineup registered a hit, North Adams was able to power itself to a big win over the Newport Gulls Sunday night by the score of 14-9.
Brandon Alberto started on the mound for North Adams, but only lasted a single inning after the right-handed pitcher suffered a season-ending injury that took him out of the contest. Alberto’s inning also left the SteepleCats in a quick 3-0 hole, as the Cats have previously struggled this season getting themselves back into ball games after falling behind early. Yet this was not the case Sunday night when a couple RBI singles by Kyle Norman and Alex Rodriguez, a third baseman error, and a wild pitch gave the SteepleCats a 5-3 lead after the 1st that they’d never surrender.
Duke’s Cam Kovachik and Niagara's Jeff Hayner both made their second NECBL appearances following Alberto’s exit, holding the Gulls to eight hits in their combined six innings. AJ Landis took the mound in the 8th to close out the game, striking out two and allowing just one hit.
The Gulls starting pitcher, Russell Smith, did not fare as well. The TCU left-hander allowed five hits and eight runs, making his exit shortly into the 4th. The SteepleCats then faced pitchers they had previously seen in their Friday night loss down in Newport; Austen Michel and Austin Mihlbauer. However, their performance did not mirror that of Friday night, as Michel gave up six runs off of five hits to put the game out of reach for Newport.
With great performances all around the SteepleCats roster Sunday night, a key three-run double by Harvard’s Chad Minato to break the scoring followed by fantastic fielding sealed his place as the MVP of the night for North Adams. The Ivy Leaguer’s hit was off a familiar foe, as Minato had faced Dartmouth’s Austen Michel earlier this year.
“I knew his curveball was his best pitch” said Minato. “I was trying to get a fastball over the plate, so when I got it I was able to put a good swing on it.”
Outfielder Jeffery Brown also continued his hot start to the season, going four-for-five tonight but not without tallying up more expenses for his team’s front office. The Citadel junior broke 3 bats Sunday night along with the one he broke the night prior. Yet if his performance so far this season continues, the SteepleCats will ensure Brown will have something to take to the plate.
Catch the SteepleCats back in action Monday Night when they take on the Vermont Mountaineers at 6:30. Probable pitchers include Chris Cepeda for North Adams and Andrew Kneussle for the visiting Mountaineers. Make sure to head down to the Ramuntos concession area for the special game time deal of 2 cheese pizza slices and a soda for only $5. Tickets for Monday night’s game can be purchased online at www.steeplecats.org or at the Ticket booth one hour prior to the games start.