Kettle of Hawks on all-star squad

  • Upper Valley Nighthawks center fielder Andrew Walker (Xavier) hits a fly out to center field during the first inning of the Nighthawks' 6-4 loss to the Keene Swamp Bats on July 11, 2021, at Maxfield Sports Complex in White River Junction, Vt. (Valley News - Seth Tow) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Valley News — Seth Tow

Staff Report
Published: 7/13/2021 2:01:10 PM
Modified: 7/13/2021 2:01:12 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Upper Valley Nighthawks will have a healthy representation at this weekend’s New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game.

Team founder and president Noah Crane announced at Sunday’s game Maxfield Sports Complex game with Keene that seven Nighthawks had been chosen as all-stars. The NECBL’s two divisions will face off against each other on Sunday at Cardines Field in Newport, R.I.

Catcher Parker Haskin (Elon), left fielder Alan Roden (Creighton), second baseman Max Viera (Northeastern), and third baseman Gehrig Anglin (Wright State) will start. First baseman Will Sullivan (Troy), outfielder Andrew Walker (Xavier) and pitcher Nick Cantone (Marist) will be reserves.

Haskin is third in the NECBL in batting average at .364 (through Saturday. Roden ranks seventh at .329, while Viera is 10th at .323. Sullivan is third in the league in home runs with six, as well as tied for fifth with 18 RBIs.

Anglin is fifth in on-base-plus-slugging percentage at 1.183. Roden leads the league in stolen bases with 21. Walker is tied for third at 16, and Viera is tied for sixth at 11. Cantone, a reliever, has a pair of wins, 25 strikeouts, just one walk and a 1.96 earned-run average in eight appearances.

An eighth Nighthawk, third baseman Ron Evans (UNC Wilmington), could join the crowd through the league’s fan voting process, which was to begin at midnight on Monday and concludes Thursday.

Dartmouth College pitcher Cole Roland, of the Vermont Mountaineers, also made the Northern Division all-star team at closer.

Gates for the All-Star Game open at 2 p.m., with the home run derby starting at 3 p.m. Pre-game ceremonies begin at 4:40 p.m., and the first pitch will be at 5 p.m.

Hello again, GM: Matt Wright has returned to White River Junction to be the Nighthawks’ general manager.

Wright previously served as the team’s assistant GM in 2019. Phil Chaput, who is also baseball coach at Thetford Academy, was slated to be general manager this season, but he left the position a few games into the campaign. Chaput was general manager in 2019 and would have filled the same role in 2020 had the NECBL played ball.

Wright will take responsibility off the plate of founder and president Noah Crane.

More ball for all: The NECBL playoffs will be an all-comers affair, with all 14 teams qualifying.

The top teams in each division will get a bye from one-game playdowns between the survivors. Winners move to best-of-three series, which is how the divisional and league championships will be determined as well.

The league’s regular season concludes on Aug. 1.

No rest for the weary: The Nighthawks shouldn’t be terribly worn out given their recent schedule, but they could be soon.

Tuesday’s 4 p.m. doubleheader at Sanford marks a stretch of 12 games over the next 12 days, with only two breaks within the time frame. The twinbill, the first two over the next two weeks, will be the Hawks’ first visit to Maine this year.

The rest of this week finds the Hawks hosting Vermont on Wednesday, visiting North Shore for a doubleheader on Thursday, entertaining Sanford on Friday and traveling to North Adams on Saturday. Following Sunday’s all-star festivities, Upper Valley visits Vermont on July 19 and Sanford on July 20 before a three-game homestand with Vermont, Keene and North Shore covering July 21, 23 and 24.

Upper Valley (14-11) entered Monday’s off day tied for second place in the Northern Division with North Shore (12-9-2), three games behind Keene (16-7).

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