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Sanford Clips Hawks



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sanford, Maine — The Upper Valley Nighthawks suffered one of their more disheartening losses of the New England Collegiate Baseball League season all of 24 hours after recording one of their most thrilling victories.

The Nighthawks saw a two-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning get away on two pitches by sidearm reliever Nick Jones, leading to back-to-back RBI singles that drove in the game-winning runs for the Northern Division-leading Sanford Mainers in a 4-3 win over the Nighthawks on Wednesday night at Goodall Park.

“I completely mismanaged that inning,” said Nighthawks manager Nick Cenatiempo. “That’s on me.”

Upper Valley (16-23) slipped back to last place in the NECBL’s Northern Division, 1½ games behind the Vermont Mountaineers for the division’s fourth and final playoff spot. Vermont was idle on Wednesday.

Jones, who pitched five innings in Tuesday’s 6-3 win over Vermont, entered the game in relief of Jarod Yoakam, Upper Valley holding onto a 3-1 lead with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning. Jones’ first pitch was hammered into center field by Sanford’s Chris Gaetano, a two-RBI single that brought home Kyle Heath and Sam Stauble to tie the game. The Mainers’ Nelson Mompierre followed it on a first-pitch RBI single to bring home Michael Landestoy for the eventual game-winning run.

Cenatiempo was furious earlier on a check swing by Landestoy that could have ended the inning. Field umpire Norm Gordon ruled that Landestoy had not followed through, leading to an infield single that Yoakam couldn’t handle.

After Sanford took the lead, Cenatiempo walked out to the mound to talk to Jones and motioned to Gordon by throwing his hat.

The Nighthawks took the lead in fifth inning off an RBI single from Al Molina and a sacrifice fly to right field by Joey Denison. Joe Levasseur went six innings in his second start of the season, giving up four hits, one earned run, one walk and recorded two strikeouts.

Upper Valley will make its final road trip of the season tonight in a visit to the Ocean State Waves for a 6:30 p.m. start. The Nighthawks will do so without Cenatiempo, who is suspended per NECBL rules for one game for being ejected from Wednesday’s game.