Feliz Blasts Nighthawks Out of Funk

  • Southern New Hampshire University sophpomore Jordy Allard, of Woodstock, Vt. Portraits of the New England Collegiate Baseball League's 2018 Upper Valley Nighthawks at the Valley News office in West Lebanon, N.H., Monday, June 4, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Notre Dame senior Eric Feliz, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Portraits of the New England Collegiate Baseball League's 2018 Upper Valley Nighthawks at the Valley News office in West Lebanon, N.H., Monday, June 4, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Published: 6/23/2018 11:40:19 PM

White River Junction — Boom. With one swing of the bat, Eric Feliz ended the Upper Valley Nighthawks’ three-game losing streak on Saturday night.

The Notre Dame outfielder launched a 2-1 pitch over the Maxfield Sports Complex fence for a first-inning grand slam and five pitchers combined to shut down the North Adams SteepleCats, 4-1, in a New England Collegiate Baseball League game.

Feliz, a Fighting Irish senior-to-be, made his first homer of the NECBL season count. The four RBIs that came with the slam also nearly matched his season output prior to Saturday’s rain-delayed contest.

Upper Valley (9-6) got all the offense it would need off of North Adams starting pitcher Danny Taggart (Adelphi) in the home half of the first inning. Dre Tipton (Arkansas State) opened the frame with a walk, Gregory Hardison (UNC-Greensboro) delivered a one-out single and Anthony Quirion (Lamar) was hit by a Taggart pitch to load the bases.

The Nighthawks’ Christopher Berry (North Florida) popped up to short for the second out, bringing Feliz to the plate. Taggart threw two balls and a strike to the righty, then Feliz sent the fourth offering beyond the outfield fence to clear the bases and give Upper Valley at 4-0 lead.

Nighthawks manager Jason Szafarski spread the mound duties among four pitchers ... or four pitchers and an outfielder, to be accurate. Hartford High graduate Jordy Allard (Southern New Hampshire) threw a season-long four innings, striking out five North Adams batters, walking one and allowing two hits. Stephen Hansen (Iona), David Sampson (Plymouth State) and Ty Adcock (Elon) combined over the next four innings to hold North Adams (4-11) to just three more hits. Adcock allowed the SteepleCats’ only run, on an eight-inning RBI single by leading NECBL hitter Jackson Coutts (Rhode Island).

Alvin Melendez, listed as an outfielder on the Upper Valley roster who doubles as a relief pitcher at Fordham, tossed the ninth inning for the Hawks. Melendez was making his first appearance on the mound for Upper Valley this season.

Upper Valley collected six hits in the win. Feliz was 2-for-2 with a walk, and catcher Ross Cadena (Wichita State) went 2-for-4 to kick his batting average over the .300 mark for the summer. Tipton and Hardison accounted for the Nighthawks’ other hits.

Upper Valley returns to Maxfield tonight for a 5 p.m. game against the Newport Gulls.




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