Local Roundup: Nighthawks Sweep, Extend Shutout Streak to 36 Innings

Saturday, June 17, 2017

White River Junction — The Upper Valley Nighthawks took the Danbury Westerners, one of the NECBL’s hottest-hitting teams, and shut them down in a 14-inning doubleheader sweep at the Maxfield Sports Complex on Saturday, 6-0 and 1-0, to extend their winning streak to seven games.

Upper Valley (7-2) heads into this afternoon’s game against the New Bedford Bay Sox with its fourth straight shutout win. The Nighthawks have thrown 36 straight shutout innings dating back to their 9-4 win over the Vermont Mountaineers on Tuesday in Montpelier.

Upper Valley has prevented the last 108 consecutive opposing batters from scoring.

“I really think it comes down to our pitching staff,” said Nighthawks head coach Jason Szafarski. “Our team has really bought into their success on the mound, trying to find ways to score runs. They’ve done a great job with it.”

In game one, Wagner’s Anthony Godino broke the scoreless tie with a two-out, three-run homer into deep left field in the top of the seventh inning — only the second home run hit at Maxfield this season — to hand Danbury its first road loss of the year.

St. Joseph’s catcher James McConnon started things off with a lead-off walk against Danbury relief pitcher Brendan White, who was his first inning of work. Lipscomb’s Cade Sorrells advanced McConnon on a bunt, Dartmouth’s Justin Fowler put runners on the corners thanks to a Westerner error, and Godino cleared the deck with his second bomb of the season.

Danbury’s bullpen then imploded. North Carolina-Wilmington’s Ryan Jeffers followed up Godino’s homer with a double into center field before Marist’s Frankie Gregoire, Seton Hall’s Al Molina, Franklin Pierce’s Adam Chase, McConnon and Sorrells all walked to score three insurance runs.

Pace University’s Danny Wirchansky pitched six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and two walks in his second start to pick up the victory. Troy’s Cory Gill handled the bottom of the seventh for his fifth save of the season, extending his NECBL lead.

Upper Valley starting pitcher Cameron Alldred, from the University of Cincinnati, did all the work in game two, allowing just one hit and one walk in a seven-inning complete game.

The Nighthawks’ lone run came in the fifth inning, an RBI single up the middle by Fowler that drove in Chase from third.

With the win, Upper Valley extended its lead to two games over the Valley Blue Sox in the NECBL’s Northern Division after a little over a week of play.

Another Cincinnati product, right-hander Tanner Schimmoeller (1-0, 0.00 ERA in three innings pitched) will make his first start for the Nighthawks today against New Bedford. First pitch is 5 p.m. at Maxfield.

Legion Baseball

Post 84 Splits

Essex Junction, Vt. — White River Junction Post 84 came away with a win and a loss in its second day at Essex Post 91’s Punch Out Cancer Tournament at Essex High.

Post 84 rolled to a 6-1 win over the Saratoga (N.Y.) Stampede to open Saturday. Robbie Slocum gave WRJ (4-2 overall) a game it needed, going the distance on six hits with two strikeouts, no walks and one hit batter.

“He was an animal today,” Post 84 coach Jarrod Grassi said. “We really needed that. It saves us. When you get into a tournament and still have one game to play, then you play league games, you need someone to give you a complete game.”

WRJ supported Slocum with plenty of hits. Hunter Perkins and Jordy Allard both had two singles and a double, Duncan Frazer went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Brady Clark contributed two hits.

Rhode Island-based Upper Deck, which reached last year’s American Legion World Series, dumped Post 84, 10-2, later Saturday.

Kyle Hamilton gave a helpful performance late in the game on the mound, throwing 4⅓ innings with two hits, no walks and a strikeout. Jacob Perkins, back from his freshman season at Lyndon State, went 2-for-3 for WRJ, with Tyler Hamilton and Ryland Richardson both adding a hit and a run.

Post 84, which is 2-1 in the tournament, closes action there today.