Local Roundup: Gregoire’s Two-Homer Night Leads Nighthawks

Friday, July 28, 2017

Laconia, n.h. — Designated hitter Frankie Gregoire blasted a three-run home run over the fence in the top of the first inning and added another solo shot in third as the Upper Valley Nighthawks defeated the Winnipesaukee Muskrats, 10-6, on Friday night at Robbie Mills Field, dealing a blow to the Muskrats’ NECBL playoff hopes.

The Marist College product, in his second game back in the lineup after missing eight with a hamstring injury, reached base on each of his three plate appearances before being pulled in the fourth inning.

“We’re getting Frankie back comfortable with those two home runs, which is good to see,” Nighthawks coach Jason Szafarski said. “Pulled him out of there early as soon as he got on base. That was kind of the plan. If it was the first inning or the ninth inning when he got on base, we were just going to get a pinch-runner in. ... No point in putting a strain on his hamstring. The big thing is getting him back in the groove of things.”

Upper Valley (29-13) piled on a combined four runs in the eighth and ninth innings to secure the win. Gregoire drove in a team-high four runs. Ryan Jeffers (UNC-Wilmington) had three hits and two RBIs. Connor Rowland (Palm Beach Atlantic), Cade Sorrells (Lipscomb), James McConnon (St. Joseph’s) and Matt Rothenberg (Harvard) each had two hits for the Nighthawks.

Newcomer Jacob Nappi (Felician) gave up three hits, one earned run and one walk in four innings to win his Upper Valley pitching debut, striking out five. Keller Bradford (Southern Mississippi), Ashton Raines (Bloomsburg), Will Carnley (Troy), Kody Gardere (Indian River State) and Tanner Schimmoeller (Cincinnati) each pitched an inning in relief, with Upper Valley’s coaching staff trying to save the teams’ arms after clinching the No. 1 seed for the Northern Division playoffs on Thursday.

“Like I said yesterday, it’s a fine line. You want these guys to stay sharp,” Szafarski said. “At some point, in the next couple of games, we’ll roll with what I think is our best lineup and kind of see where we’ll be at going into the playoffs.”

Winnipesaukee had been in contention for the final Northern Division playoff spot. Friday’s results left the Muskrats two games behind third-place Keene with three games to play; the Swamp Bats still have five contests to complete.

Paxton Stover (Vanderbilt) gets the start tonight in Upper Valley’s final home game of the regular season against the Valley Blue Sox.

Legion Baseball

Newmarket 3, Lebanon 2

Manchester — Lebanon Post 22 nearly rallied from a 3-0 deficit but fell into the losers’ bracket of the New Hampshire American Legion junior state tournament at Gill Stadium.

Kyle Pelletier handled the pitching chores well, going the distance with just one earned run allowed. Three runs behind after four innings, Lebanon (13-5) loaded the bases in the fifth and had two on in the sixth and seventh but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Post 22 cut the gap to 3-1 with a run in the fifth. Cedric Elkouh doubled home a run in the sixth, reducing the deficit to 3-2. Lebanon didn’t convert further from a second-and-third, no-outs scenario there, nor when it had runners at second and third with two down in the seventh.

“We made a couple of mistakes defensively that hurt us and, again, offensively could not get the job done,” coach Travis Pelletier said in an email. “When you get to the tournament every mistake matters. I’m confident we will bounce back tomorrow.”

Lebanon, which beat Dover in extra innings to open the tournament on Thursday, meets Manchester’s Jutras Post at 2:30 p.m. Jutras won the N.H. District A regular-season title, while Lebanon placed third. The teams split matching 9-2 decisions four days apart earlier this month, with Post 22’s win coming at Gill.

Dartmouth News

Teevens Set For Fenway First Pitch

Hanover — Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens will toss the first pitch at Monday’s Fenway Park contest between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox.

Teevens had been scheduled to do the honors back on April 25 against the New York Yankees only to have the game canceled by rain. Teevens will be at Fenway to promote the Big Green’s participation in this fall’s Fenway Gridiron Series, which will include Dartmouth’s date with Brown on Nov. 10.