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Local Roundup: Nighthawks slide past New Bedford — twice

Staff Reports
Published: 7/7/2019 9:38:51 PM
Modified: 7/7/2019 9:38:49 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Upper Valley Nighthawks have had some trouble against teams in the bottom of the NECBL standings this summer, with three losses to teams in a divisional basement. An offensive showing and some late-game heroics did the trick to break that slump.

The Nighthawks swept a doubleheader from the New Bedford Bay Sox, 7-4 and 4-3, at the Maxfield Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon. They improved to 15-10 overall, inching closer to the Keene Swamp Bats and the North Adams SteepleCats at the top of the NECBL’s Northern Division standings.

Upper Valley has an off day on Monday and travels to Goodall Park for a game against the Sanford Mainers on Tuesday.

Easton Kirk was the hero in Game 1, hitting a one-out, three-run home run over the right-field fence for the game-winning runs in the sixth inning.

New Bedford built a 4-0 lead after two innings on Nighthawks starter Jordy Allard (Babson), who gave up five hits. But Upper Valley’s defense provided no help, committing three errors with Allard on the mound. Only one of the four Bay Sox runs was earned.

The Nighthawks tied the game with four runs in the fourth inning, hitting around on New Bedford starter Josh Eastman. Jack Zyska (Notre Dame) had a two-run single with the bases loaded, Dan Bolt (Bradley) slapped an RBI single and Cole Frederick (Jacksonville State) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to tie the game. Kirk’s blast gave Upper Valley the lead for good two innings later.

Devin Beckley (Citadel) shut the door, striking out four and allowing just one hit and two walks in the next four innings. Aaron Haase (Wichita State) earned his fifth save of the season with two strikeouts in the seventh.

Kirk was 2-for-4, Anthony Quirion (Lamar) was 3-for-4 with a run scored and Bolt (Bradley) was 2-for-5 in game that saw 11 Nighthawks’ hits.

In Game 2, Upper Valley stranded 11 men on base before finally breaking through in the seventh with a two-out Frederick RBI single, driving in Gehrig Anglin (Wright State) from third to tie the game, 2-2, and force extra innings.

New Bedford took the lead back again in the eighth, 3-2, before Upper Valley rallied in the bottom of the inning. Quirion ripped an RBI single down the third-base line to bring in Zyska from third and, three batters later, Bolt drove in the game-winner with grounder to first base with the bases loaded, bringing Quirion home.

Aaron Ernst (Wright State) was solid on the mound, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk with three strikeouts in five innings. Corley Woods (Jacksonville State) got the win, giving up two hits and an unearned run in the final three frames.

Junior LegionLebanon, Merrimack split

LEBANON — Mason Gantrish earned an opening-game win with 4⅔ innings of five-hit relief in an 11-10 win in eight innings before Lebanon Post 22 dropped a 13-9 nightcap to split a doubleheader with Merrimack Post 98 at Lebanon High School.

Taking over for starting pitcher Jorgen Leuthauser, Gantrish struck out two and walked two for Post 22 (5-5). Ian Hedgepeth got on base four times — three via walks — and stored twice with two RBIs to lead Lebanon. Jon Carrier had a pair of doubles, Colin Pierce had three RBIs and Gantrish helped his own cause with a double and two RBIs.

Braeden Falzarano, Josh Bucci, Casey Graham and Calvin Bates all had two-hit games in the second contest. Dawson Bates took the loss on the mound for Post 22, giving up eight runs — only three of them earned — over four innings.

Lebanon meets Weare Post 65 at Hopkinton High School on Tuesday.

Senior LegionWRJ Post 84 sweeps

BENNINGTON, Vt. — White River Junction Post 84 gave its Vermont state tournament hopes a boost with a doubleheader sweep of Bennington Post 13, 8-3 and 9-2, at Mount Anthony Union High School.

Alex Bushway threw six innings for the winning in the opener. Ryan Pepe and Kyle Hamilton backed him u pwith two hits apiece.

Robert Slocum followed up with a complete-game victory to complete the sweep in the nightcap. Hamilton provided a 3-for-3 performance in game 2, capped by a three-run homer that broke the game open.

The victories kicked Post 84 (5-6) past Bennington (4-7) and into fourth place in the Vermont Southern Division standings. The top four teams in each division advance to the state tourney at the end of the month.

Post 84 entertains Bellows Falls Post 37 at the Maxfield Sports Complex on Monday night.

Weare 6, Lebanon 5

MANCHESTER — Lebanon Post 22 (6-2) remained atop the New Hampshire District A standings despite a loss to Post 65 (5-4) in a game played at Saint Anselm College.

Lebanon has a busy week ahead, with a twinbill at Concord Post 21 on Tuesday and a visit to Merrimack Post 98 on Wednesday before returning home to entertain Laconia Post 1 at Lebanon High School on Friday night.

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