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Nighthawks have no answers for Mountaineers

  • Upper Valley's Alex Theis winds up for a first-inning pitch during an NECBL baseball game with the Vermont Mountaineers at Maxfield Sports Complex in White River Junction, Vt., on June 15, 2021. The visiting Mountaineers won, 6-3. Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Greg Fennell—

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/15/2021 10:46:50 PM
Modified: 6/15/2021 10:46:55 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A four-run second inning was the difference in the Upper Valley Nighthawks’ 6-3 loss to the Vermont Mountaineers in Tuesday night NECBL action at Maxfield Sports Complex.

The Nighthawks (6-2) scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning but didn’t hold the lead for long. The Mountaineers (4-4) loaded the bases with no outs on two errors by Nighthawks shortstop Luca Trigiani (St. Josephs) and a walk.

Upper Valley starting pitcher Alex Theis (Wright State) walked in a run, and the Mountaineers tied the game on a fielder’s choice. Two more runs scored two batters later on another fielder’s choice.

Theis said this was his first outing in around two weeks, and he felt good. But he said he let the second inning get away from him.

“I just kind of lost control a little bit; I sped myself up,” Theis said. “Unfortunately, there were some errors, but it was alright. I had defense behind me for the most part, making some plays. I got out of it. Just gotta bear down and tough it out sometimes, and I just gotta catch yourself, take a deep breath.”

Theis pitched four innings. All four of the runs he gave up in that second inning were unearned. He surrendered two hits, three walks and one hit by pitch, and he struck out two hitters.

Offensively, the Nighthawks didn’t score after the third inning. They out-hit the Mountaineers, 6-4, but couldn’t find the clutch hit they needed on several occasions. Upper Valley left 11 runners on base in the game.

The Nighthawks stranded the bases loaded in the fifth and left two in scoring position in the ninth.

“Just needed balls to drop,” Nighthawks head coach Justin Devoid said. “We got guys in scoring position almost every inning, a lot of (runners) left on base tonight, so we just missed that key hit. Ball didn’t fall our way tonight, and we’ll look to bounce back tomorrow.”

Catcher Parker Haskin (Elon) recorded a multi-hit game for the Nighthawks and scored two runs. Third baseman Ronald Evans (UNC Wilmington) hit a double. Left fielder Alan Roden (Creighton) and right fielder Will Sullivan (Troy) picked up the Nighthawks’ only RBIs.

Jake Gigliotti (Northeastern) threw four innings in relief for Upper Valley, giving up two unearned runs on two hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

Devoid isn’t reading into the loss too much.

“We’ve got some gritty guys on this team,” Devoid said. “We have some guys who put on some good ABs at the end of the game, had pressure on them, and I don’t see us being outscored many games. So I think this is a good learning experience for us moving forward. Good thing we’ve got two games tomorrow; I think that’s going to be good for us.”

The Nighthawks are back in action Wednesday with a road doubleheader against the North Adams SteepleCats.

Seth Tow can be contacted at stow@vnews.com.




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