Nighthawks solve Navigators in 11 innings

Staff Report
Published: 7/31/2021 7:56:27 AM
Modified: 7/31/2021 7:56:25 AM

LYNN, Mass. — The Upper Valley Nighthawks kept their chances of winning the NECBL Northern Division alive Friday.

The Nighthawks needed 11 innings to do it, but they pulled out a 4-2 win over the North Shore Navigators at Fraser Field. The Nighthawks sit 1½ games behind the first-place Keene Swamp Bats entering the final weekend of the regular season.

Upper Valley (22-16) struck first in the second inning on an RBI double by first baseman Will Sullivan (Troy). The Navigators (18-18-2) promptly tied the game in the bottom half of the second.

The Nighthawks took the lead again in the fifth on an RBI single by second baseman Max Viera (Northeastern). North Shore answered in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch by Nighthawks reliever Cole Garrett (Liberty).

The game remained in a deadlock until the 11th inning. With Gehrig Anglin at second base to start the frame, Sullivan led off with an RBI single to break the tie. Two batters later, Sullivan stole third base and scored on a throwing error by Navigators catcher Cal Christofori (Yale).

The Nighthawks used seven pitchers in the contest. Jace Kaminska (Wichita State) started, but only threw two innings, allowing one earned run on one hit and three walks with three strikeouts. Hartford High alum Jordy Allard (Richmond) pitched 3⅓ innings in relief, striking out four while giving up an earned run, one hit and one walk.

Garrett, Nick Cantone (Marist), Henry Leake (Boston College), Connor Holden (Wichita State) and Zane Kmietek (Marist) shut the Navigators down the rest of the way. The last four pitchers combined to allow just three hits and two walks to North Shore in the final 5⅔ innings.

Sullivan, Viera and right fielder Alan Roden (Creighton) all recorded multi-hit games for the Nighthawks.

The Nighthawks travel to Keene Saturday for a showdown with the Swamp Bats at Alumni Field. The Swamp Bats would clinch the division with a victory. If the Nighthawks win, they’d control their own destiny — Upper Valley could then clinch the division with a sweep of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Winnipesaukee Muskrats.

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