The Norwich Sea Unicorns were defeated 7-4 last night to open their weekend series against the Brockton Rox. The loss for Norwich was their second in as many nights and they are now 8-5 on the season.

There was no scoring until the top of the 3rd when Brockton struck for three runs to take an early 3-0 lead. Brockton took advantage of some production from the bottom of their order and some command trouble by Norwich starter Justin Marks. The danger began immediately thanks to a lead off double and later a hit batter to give the visitors a pair of baserunners. A wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position and they later came home to score on an RBI single. Later in the frame a sharply hit ball towards second produced the final run in the inning for the visitors.

The offense from the Rox continued to surge in the fourth as they added another run to expand their lead to 4. Marks finished his night surrendering 4 runs on 5 hits and struck out three.

Norwich was held to one hit offensively by Brockton starter Ryan Moriano, who was dominant in his outing until the bottom of the 6th. The Sea Unicorn offense finally came to life thanks to Brennan Hyde who crushed his first home run of the summer for Norwich with a towering blast clearing the extended wall in left field. Hyde’s home run ended the night for Moriano, who tossed 5.1 innings, allowing just two hits, struck out two and did not issue any walks. JT Gunzy was brought into the ballgame and immediately found himself in trouble after allowing a base hit to Alex Irizarry and a RBI triple by Christian Stratis to cut the Brockton lead in half. Unfortunately, Norwich stranded their one out base runner on third when it was ruled that Stratis did not tag up on a fly ball Nick Tomasetto hit to left field to end the inning and the threat for Norwich.

Reliever Andrew Gaines shined out of the bullpen once again for Norwich this summer, tossing a pair of shutout innings. Gaines allowed just one hit in his outing while striking out four and has now lowered his ERA to 0.96 on the season.

There was no more scoring after Norwich cut the Brockton lead in half until the 9th inning. The inning began for Brockton with a lead off double, and a wild pitch later advanced the runner third. With one out in the inning and a base runner for Brockton at third, Norwich moved their infield in. The move for Norwich paid off when shortstop Trey Bagasse was able to throw out the runner trying to go home on a sharply hit ground ball hit his way. Norwich was almost able to escape the jam, but a costly error with a pair of outs extended the inning and Brockton was able to take full advantage of it thanks to a 3-run home run to increase their lead to 5.

Norwich was able to chip into the Rox lead in the bottom of the 9th but came up a little short. The Sea Unicorns were able to rally to cut the Rox lead to three and continued to battle in the inning bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs. Riley Williams was able to escape the jam stranding both base runners with a strikeout to seal the deal for the visitors.

These same two teams will battle once again this afternoon to close out the weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. EST.

It is Sunday Funday at Dodd Stadium with postgame Kids Run the Bases and Have a Catch in the Outfield with their families. Baseballs for have a catch are presented by CT Dot. Sundays are also out First Mate’s Club Days presented by K&H Equipment of Plainfield.