NECBL Notes: Meduri’s Hit Provides Nighthawks a Rare Walk-Off Celebration

  • Binghamton University junior Anthony Meduri, of Columbus, N.J. Anthony Meduri, Portraits of the New England Collegiate Baseball League's 2018 Upper Valley Nighthawks at the Valley News office in West Lebanon, N.H., Monday, June 4, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/21/2018 11:42:06 PM
Modified: 7/21/2018 11:44:42 PM

Upper Valley Nighthawks outfielder Anthony Meduri sent the hit that produced his 11th RBI of the season screaming into left-center field against the North Adams SteepleCats on Wednesday, giving the Nighthawks 5-4 walk-off win at the Maxfield Sports Complex. Nighthawks left fielder Ross Cadena had tied the game in the previous at-bat, driving in two runs on a 3-2 pitch to help keep his team’s New England Collegiate Baseball League playoff hopes alive in the regular season’s final stretch.

The win was Upper Valley’s second-ever walk-off victory, its first in 763 days and was the biggest deficit overcome in its three-year history.

The Nighthawks’ first walk-off came on June 14, 2016, a 6-5 win over the New Bedford Bay Sox. The game was the fourth in Upper Valley’s history and the third NECBL contest at Maxfield. It also featured several dramatic, late-game swings.

Nighthawks relief pitcher Joe Levasseur, a Saint Anselm College righty, entered the game in the eighth inning with Upper Valley holding a 5-1 lead. But Levasseur struggled to find the strike zone, giving up two runs on a hit, an error and a walk. Brian Lau, from Saint Joseph’s, entered the game in the ninth but recorded only one out before which allowed two runs on two hits and a walk, allowing New Bedford to tie the game, 5-5. Nick Jones (Kansas State) recorded the final two outs before bringing Upper Valley’s offense to bat.

In the bottom of the ninth, Joey Denison (Troy) got on base with a single, Grayson Padgett (Houston) got on with a walk and A.J. (Alabama-Huntsville) drove in the game-winner with a single.

Upper Valley is 2-4 all-time in walk-offs, suffering three such losses in 2016 and another in 2017.

Only the Lonely: Meduri (Binghamton) has been getting a little lonely on the roster.

He is the Nighthawks’ only listed outfielder, the lone remaining athlete after seven starters left the team last week due to injuries. Cadena, a catcher from Wichita State, Ty Adock, a relief pitcher from Elon, and Riley Smith, a shortstop from Minnesota, have been rotated in to work the corners; Meduri has taken over at center field.

“I played a little bit of center in high school and things like that, so it wasn’t too big of an adjustment. I think it’s more of an adjustment to move from center to a corner position,” Meduri said on Wednesday. “It hasn’t been too bad, I just think we have a lot of good guys that can play a lot of positions.”

Cadena (Wichita State) said the adjustment to a new position hasn’t been too difficult.

“It’s not that big of a change,” Cadena said on Wednesday. “My freshman year of high school, I only started two games behind the plate. Everything else was in the outfield. I’m kind of used to it.”

Adcock, a converted catcher who has done some relief pitching for Upper Valley this summer, made 30 starts and 53 appearances in the outfield for Elon. Smith played much of his spring season at shortstop for the Golden Gophers. The Nighthawks also signed Andrew Ciacciarelli, from American International, this week, giving the squad another outfield option.

Homecoming: Right-handed Fordham pitcher Brian Weissert has put plenty of miles on his car this summer. The Bay Shore, N.Y., native was sidelined for a month with back inflammation, a nagging injury that forced him to return home. He rejoined the Nighthawks on July 13, throwing three scoreless innings against the Winnipesaukee Muskrats.

“I actually did what not a lot of people expect: I hung out with my parents a lot and watched a ton of movies on my couch,” Weissert said of his month off on Thursday. “Law Abiding Citizen, an oldie but a goodie. (I got) a lot of rest.”

Even with the injury, Weissert was adamant about returning to the Upper Valley.

“First of all, I love everybody on this team. The guys are great,” he said. “I love baseball too much to just stop playing right in the middle. I sat out the back end of my school season, too, so I really wanted to come out and play.”

Hey Now, You’re an All-Star: The conference call with all the NECBL’s coaches and general managers to determine selections for the 2018 NECBL All-Star Game took place on Saturday, with an announcement expected for early this week. Upper Valley had 12 selections in last season’s All-Star game and its coaching staff represented the Northern Division. This year’s All-Star Game is scheduled for next Sunday at the Valley Blue Sox’ Mackenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Mass.

Josh Weinreb can be reached at or 603-727-3306.

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