Nighthawks sweep North Adams, reach NECBL semifinals

  • Jordy Allard

Staff Report
Published: 8/5/2021 11:01:05 PM
Modified: 8/5/2021 11:01:13 PM

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Upper Valley Nighthawks are moving on.

The Nighthawks took care of business in game two of the NECBL North Division semifinals, defeating the North Adams SteepleCats, 7-3, onThursday night at Joe Wolfe Field. The victory clinched the best-of-three series for the Nighthawks, who advance to the division finals this weekend.

The Nighthawks (26-18) came from behind for this win. The SteepleCats (22-19-2) struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the third inning. The Nighthawks immediately responded with three runs in the fourth, including a two-run single by center fielder Brett Callahan (St. Joseph’s Univ.) The SteepleCats tied the game in the bottom half of the inning, 3-3.

Jordy Allard (Northeastern) started on the mound for the Nighthawks, allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

Upper Valley regained the lead in the sixth inning on a double by left fielder Andrew Walker (Xavier) along with an error, which allowed catcher Kevin Pitarra (UNC Wilmington) to score. Walker came in one batter later on an RBI single by designated hitter Kyle Novak (James Madison).

The Nighthawks gave themselves insurance runs in the eighth inning, when Walker scored on an error and an RBI single by right fielder Alan Roden (Creighton).

Zane Kmietek (Marist) took over for Allard on the mound in the fifth inning and enjoyed a solid outing. He threw 2⅔ scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and one walk with three strikeouts to get the victory. Henry Leake (Boston College) threw the last two innings and only allowed one baserunner, on a hit by pitch. He struck out two batters.

Nighthawks manager Justin Devoid was not in the dugout for the game. He was suspended for the contest after the SteepleCats placed Wednesday’s game one under protest due to an alleged rule violation involving an ineligible pitcher. Nighthawks founder and president Noah Crane put a uniform on to help coach, while pitching coach Chad Sturgeon managed the team.

The Nighthawks will await the winner of the division semifinal series between the Keene Swamp Bats and the North Shore Navigators. North Shore leads the series, 1-0.

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