×

Nighthawks notebook: Schedule packed with makeups

  • Wearing a swan tube the Upper Valley Nighthawks' Jordan DiValerio high-fives teammates during their game against Vermont on Friday, June 21, 2019 in White River Junction, Vt.(Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Wearing a swan tube the Upper Valley Nighthawks' Jordan DiValerio waits with teammates for the start of their game on Friday, June 21, 2019 in White River Junction, Vt.(Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, June 23, 2019

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Much like Upper Valley’s high school baseball and softball season this spring, the first few weeks of Upper Valley Nighthawks season largely has been washed away.

What was supposed to be a week full of Nighthawks baseball turned into a string off unscheduled off days after three games were postponed to later dates due to rainy weather. Last Sunday’s contest against the Sanford Mainers has turned into a July 3 doubleheader at the Maxfield Sports Complex; Thursday’s game at the Valley Blue Sox’ Mackenzie Stadium has been moved to Monday afternoon; last Tuesday’s visit to the Mystic Schooners is still waiting for a makeup date.

Rain has postponed five games through their first three weeks, one fewer than the six rainouts they saw in 2018. For Upper Valley first-year head coach Keller Bradford, the inconsistent weather has made it tough for his team to find a rhythm. Because of the delays, the Nighthawks are scheduled to play seven games in seven days beginning on Sunday on the road against the North Adams SteepleCats.

If the early season is any indication, some of those games may get pushed back even further into July due to precipitation.

From Alabama, with love:Cole Frederick has fit in quite nicely with this summer’s Nighthawks.

He arrived late to the Upper Valley after a prolonged spring season at Jacksonville (Ala.) State, which ended at the regional stage of the NCAA Division I Tournament with a 19-4 loss to Ole Miss. But since putting on the Nighthawks’ neon yellow and blue, Frederick, from Tuscaloosa, Ala., has been on a tear: 11 hits in 21 at-bats including six runs scored, two doubles and four RBIs in five games, scoring the game-winning run in Friday night’s 1-0 win over the Vermont Mountaineers at the Maxfield Sports Complex. He also leads all NECBL hitters (including non-qualifiers) with a .524 batting average.

Frederick was third on the Gamecocks with a .287 average this spring. He was second on the team with 75 hits, tied for third with 14 doubles and was third with 38 RBIs. But Frederick’s season spiked in the beginning of March, turning a .189 average into a .295 average in 39 games by early May.

That late-season surge, it seems, has carried over into his latest stint with the Nighthawks.

“I started the school ball season off rough. Then I got really hot and it’s just carried over,” he said last week. “I just needed confidence.”

Recovery, whatever works: Take a glance at Will Carnley’s right shoulder or elbow if you ever get a chance. They’re covered in round, bright red bruises that, at first glance, could be a little jarring.

Carnley, a returning Nighthawks pitcher from Troy, admitted as much on this week’s episode of the Valley News Hawks’ Talk podcast.

The marks are part of a recovery routine called cupping therapy that involves using suction cups to pull skin and muscles while encouraging blood flow. It’s also known to relieve pain and sedate the nervous system.

For a pitcher — particularly a reliever who is adjusting to a starting role with Upper Valley — a little pain relief can come in handy after long outings on the mound. But Carnley swears that it has helped him for much of his collegiate career.

“It leaves a hickey there, pretty much,” Carnley said with a laugh. “But it’s helped me a lot. It makes me feel a lot better. I do it every time I pitch.”

Bowen to South Carolina:Bryant Bowen, a catcher for last year’s Nighthawks, announced on Thursday that he will transfer to the University of South Carolina to play his graduate transfer year with the Gamecocks.

Bowen, from Shreveport, La., played three seasons at the University of Southern Mississippi — a recently productive pipeline for Upper Valley talent over the last several seasons. Bowen saved his best collegiate season for this spring, batting .341 with 71 hits, 11 home runs and 51 RBIs.

Hawks add another Brave: With two pitchers from Bradley University already on the Upper Valley roster, adding another arm must have been an easy phone call.

The Nighthawks added Braves lefty Brooks Gosswein to the roster earlier last week, joining Bradley teammates Paxton Thompson and Dan Bolt in the Upper Valley.

Gosswein, from Barrington, Ill., was 4-4 this spring with a 4.38 ERA in 11 starts, 16 appearances and 63⅔ innings pitched in his sophomore season.

Gosswein fills a void; the Nighthawks previously only featured one other lefty hurler, Wichita State’s Cal Carver. He also gives Nighthawks pitching coach Mike Coss another starting pitching option, rounding out the rotation.

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.