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Local Roundup: Hawks Pick Up Key Victory Behind DiValerio

  • St. Josephs University junior Jordan DiValerio, of Berwick, Penn. 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.

  • Christopher Berry

  • Nate Perkins

  • Ryland Richardson

  • Nolan Gantrish, freshman baseball



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Keene, n.h. — Jordan DiValerio proved to be a welcome salve for a banged-up group of Upper Valley Nighthawks.

Making his first pitching start of the season, the St. Joseph’s University junior tossed six innings of one-hit ball to lead the Nighthawks to a key 5-1 New England Collegiate Baseball League win over the Keene Swamp Bats at Alumni Field on Wednesday. In improving to 2-0 on the season, DiValerio kept up his dominance of a Keene lineup he’s kept in check through three encounters this summer.

Christopher Berry (North Florida) and Anthony Quirion (Lamar) both provided two-run homers for the Nighthawks (15-13), who moved within a half-game of the Swamp Bats (16-13) and Sanford (14-11) for second place in the NECBL’s Northern Division.

“He was awesome,” Upper Valley coach Jason Szafarski said. “He was able to locate three pitches for strikes. He’ll start at school, so that’s something we wanted to build up toward. I thought he did a great job. He’s handled these guys pretty well. I liked the matchup coming in today.”

For understandable reasons. Three of DiValerio’s six appearances have come against Keene, which has managed just nine hits and two runs off the righty in 14 innings against him.

“We had a tough schedule, I thought, in the first half of the season, playing some of those Southern Division teams,” Szafarski said. “Really, all you want to do is split with them and then give us a shot with the division race down the stretch. I thought we did a good job with that, winning some tough games on the road.”

Upper Valley jumped on Keene starter Griff McGarry for a pair of first-inning runs. Berry singled, Austin Wilhite (Georgia Tech) was hit by a pitch and Quirion delivered a single which, with the help of a Swamp Bat error, brought Berry and Wilhite home.

McGarry quickly settled down after that, at one point striking out eight Upper Valley batters in succession. However, the visitors nicked him for solo runs in the fourth and fifth frames, on Quirion’s solo home run in the former and Berry’s two-out solo knock in the latter.

“Chris Berry’s been swinging the bat really well,” Szafarski noted. “A two-out base hit. Chris is about what I thought he would be. It’s good to see him getting going.”

Anthony Meduri (Binghamton) added an RBI single in the sixth for Upper Valley, giving the visitors a 5-0 lead.

DiValerio (six strikeouts, three walks) allowed his only hit in the home sixth, a single from Brandon Smith (Dayton) that plated Mitchell Golden (Georgia Southern). Upper Valley’s Jorday Allard (SNHU) and A.J. Franklin (Vanderbilt) worked the final three innings for the Nighthawks, combining on four strikeouts against three hits and a walk.

Upper Valley as the night off before visiting the Winnipesaukee Muskrats at Laconia’s Robbie Mills Park on Friday night.

Senior Legion Baseball

Sweeney 5, Lebanon 3

Lebanon — Four errors produced five unearned runs as Post 22’s senior squad dropped a New Hampshire District A contest at Lebanon High School.

Nate Perkins accounted for two runs and Seanon May had the third for Lebanon (4-5 league, 6-7 overall). Derek Griffin took the hard-luck loss on the mound, fanning eight against two walks and four hits over 6⅔ innings.

Post 22 will complete Tuesday’s thunderstorm-stalled contest on Saturday at LHS, picking up in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 1-1 tie. Lebanon’s next regularly scheduled contest is also at home, as Weare pays a visit on Sunday.

WRJ 11, Rutland 10 (8)Lake Region 8, WRJ 0

Castleton, Vt. — Post 84 followed Tuesday’s thunderstorm-slowed win over Rutland Post 31 with a shutout loss against Lake Region on Wednesday.

Down 10-5 on Tuesday, White River Junction used two big rallies for an important victory. Hunter Perkins delivered a two-run hit and Brady Clark added a run-scoring sacrifice fly in a three-run sixth, and Tyler Hamilton tied the game with a two-run double in the seventh.

Walker Albrecht shut down Rutland in the top of the eighth, setting up the winning rally in the home half. Kyle Hedgepeth drew a one-out walk, Albrecht slapped an infield single, Hamilton picked up a two-out intentional walk and a bases-loaded free pass to Ryland Richardson won the contest.

Richardson was 2-for-3 with two singles and Ryan Pepe added a hit in Wednesday’s loss to Lake Region at Castleton University. Post 84 (10-4, 12-5) hosts Randolph at 7 p.m. tonight at the Maxfield Sports Complex.

Senior Legion Baseball

Lebanon 6, Jutras 4

Manchester — Pitchers Zach Moore and Kyle Pelletier combined to scatter eight hits as Post 22 (9-1, 11-1) in a Gill Stadium battle of New Hampshire District A’s top two teams.

Moore grabbed the win by going five innings, fanning five, walking one and allowing six hits along with three runs. Pelletier picked up a two-inning save, limiting Jutras (10-4 league) to one run on two hits.

Nolan Gantrish had a big game at the plate, going 3-for-4 and driving in a pair of runs for Lebanon. Kobe Benoit drove in a run with a sac fly, Calvin Bates threw a triple in to a 2-for-4, two-RBI night and Sean Maddock went 2-for-3 to highlight Post 22’s attack.

Lebanon plays two at Merrimack on Saturday.