Keene doubles up Nighthawks, clinches NECBL North title

Staff Report
Published: 7/31/2021 10:19:05 PM
Modified: 7/31/2021 10:19:05 PM

KEENE, N.H. — The Upper Valley Nighthawks needed a victory Saturday against the Keene Swamp Bats to keep alive their hopes of winning the NECBL Northern Division.

But they came up short, as Keene clinched the division title with an 8-4 win at Alumni Field.

The Swamp Bats (25-15) hung five runs on Nighthawks starter Alex Theis (Wright State) in the second inning. Keene took the lead on a two-run single by catcher Axel Melendez (Florida Southwestern State).

Upper Valley third baseman Gehrig Anglin (Wright State) made a strong effort to bring the Nighthawks (22-17) back, hitting two home runs in the contest. He drove in all four Nighthawks runs as well.

Upper Valley cut the deficit to 5-4 in the top of the fifth inning, but then Keene responded with one run in the bottom of the fifth and two runs in the sixth. The Nighthawks were able to get two runners on base in the ninth inning, but they couldn’t bring anyone home against Swamp Bats reliever Bryce Hellgeth (Dayton).

In addition to Anglin, Nighthawks right fielder Alan Roden (Creighton) also recorded a two-hit game. Left fielder Andrew Walker (Xavier) hit a double and stole his 23rd base of the season, moving him into a tie for second in the NECBL in that category.

The Nighthawks close out their regular season Sunday at Maxfield Sports Complex with a doubleheader against the Winnipesaukee Muskrats. The Nighthawks will clinch a second-place finish in the Northern Division with at least one win. The first game will start at 1 p.m., moved up two hours in anticipation of forecasted afternoon thunderstorms.

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