Nighthawks scratch SteepleCats in NECBL quarterfinal rout

Staff Report
Published: 8/4/2021 10:43:12 PM
Modified: 8/4/2021 10:43:18 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Upper Valley Nighthawks cruised to a 10-1 victory over the North Adams SteepleCats in game one of their best-of-three NECBL North Division semifinal series on Wednesday night at Maxfield Sports Complex.

The Nighthawks (25-18) surged ahead in the second inning with four runs. Designated hitter Kyle Novak (James Madison) gave Upper Valley the lead on an RBI single that scored right fielder Alan Roden (Creighton).

The Nighthawks tacked on one run in the third inning, three in the four and two in the fifth.

The SteepleCats (22-18-2) scored their lone run in the fourth, to cut the deficit to 5-1 at the time.

Jace Kaminska (Wichita State) pitched five innings for Upper Valley and was in full control. He allowed the one earned run on just three hits and one walk while striking out 10 SteepleCats.

Jack Keenan (Marist) took over in relief to start the sixth inning but only recorded one out before he was pulled. The SteepleCats argued Keenan was ineligible to pitch because he was on short rest after starting on Sunday, and they placed the game under protest.

The Nighthawks brought in Randall Alejo (St. Rose) after the ruckus, and he finished out the game. In 3⅔ innings, he allowed only two hits and struck out six batters.

Shortstop Luca Trigiani (St. Joseph’s Univ.) and Roden led the Nighthawks with three hits each. Trigiani had a double and two singles, and he drove one run in and scored three more. Roden added two RBIs and two runs to his three singles. Left fielder Andrew Walker (Xavier) recorded a team-high three RBIs. First baseman Ronald Evans (UNC Wilmington), second baseman Max Viera (Northeastern), and Novak also each had multi-hit performances.

The teams will travel to North Adams Thursday to play game two at Joe Wolfe Field. If the Nighthawks win, they advance to the North Division finals. If the SteepleCats win, the teams will return to Maxfield for a decisive game three on Friday.

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