Local roundup: Nighthawks clinch Governor’s Cup over Vermont

Staff Reports
Published: 7/17/2019 11:15:44 PM

MONTPELIER — This season’s Upper Valley Nighthawks had no clue what the Governor’s Cup even was when the team played the Vermont Mountaineers in early June. When they found out, it instantly became a goal. “For the Cup” was heard in the dugout in games against their in-state rivals and was blasted out on social media.

Mission accomplished.

The Nighthawks defeated Vermont, 6-2, at Recreation Field on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win against the Mountaineers. The streak clinched the Governor’s Cup, the milk-can trophy going to the winner of the annual NECBL series between the two clubs.

Upper Valley is 4-1 against the Mountaineers (19-15) this summer with one game to play.

“The first game we played here, they had no idea what the Cup was,” said Upper Valley head coach Keller Bradford. “Then Noah tells the guys about it after the fact, and they all freak out. Like, ‘We aren’t losing another game to those guys. We are winning the Cup.’ They got what they wanted.

“It’s just something for the guys to work for. It’s like the playoffs, like the All-Star game. It’s something to look forward to, something to play for.”

Upper Valley (20-12) became the first team in the league to reach 20 wins this season. The Nighthawks a;sp remained percentage points behind North Adams atop the NECBL’s Northern Division and 1½ games ahead of the third-place Keene Swamp Bats in the standings. Upper Valley hosts the Sanford Mainers (12-20) on Thursday night at the Maxfield Sports Complex.

“It was good; that’s what we were shooting for this season,” Upper Valley infielder Brian Moore said. “Now it’s on to the next thing.”

Nighthawks pitcher Skyler Pichardo (Marist) had his best game in his longest outing of the season, striking out six batters over five innings. He gave up an unearned run in the first inning and left the game having allowed just four hits and two walks on 86 pitches.

Then Upper Valley’s batters, who scored 18 runs in a win over the Danbury Westerners on Tuesday, came alive. Moore started by lifting a bomb over the Recreation Field scoreboard in left field for his first home run of the season, tying the game at 1-1 in the second inning.

“It felt really good. I finally got one,” Moore said. “I’ve been struggling this summer, but that’s just baseball. You’ve got to keep swinging. Eventually, they’ll go.”

Back-to-back doubles from David Marcano (NJIT) and Gehrig Anglin (Wright State) gave the Nighthawks a lead in the third inning. Anglin later scored on a wild pitch for a 3-1 advantage.

Upper Valley broke things open in the eighth. Anthony Quirion (Lamar) sent the first pitch he saw over the left-center field fence for his third home run of the summer. Three doubles later in the inning from Moore, Andrew Cossetti (St. Joseph’s) and Marcano produced two more runs for a 6-1 cushion.

Vermont made use of a Cossetti error in the eighth along with three walks and a hit batter by reliever Kellen Spann (West Alabama) to mount a late threat. Upper Valley closer Aaron Haase (Wichita State) got the Nighthawks out of the jam with a strikeout and retired the side in the ninth.

“We’ve got some guys who are swinging the bat really well,” Bradford said. “(Upper Valley hitting coach Brandon) Eady has done a great job with this offense; he’s been working with some of the guys. They’ve been putting in work early. It’s worked out for us really well.”

Will Carnley (Troy) is scheduled to start against Sanford. Game time is 6 p.m.

SENIOR LEGION Concord 3, Lebanon 2

LEBANON — Concord Post 21 used a three-run third inning to rally past Lebanon Post 22.

The loss at least tempoarily denied Post 22 (10-6 league, 11-6 overall) the chance to clinch a state tournament spot.

Lebanon held a 2-0 lead early. Trey Parker and Nolan Gantrish delivered base hits in the first inning and moved up on a Jack Loftus sacrifice bunt before Parker scored on a passed ball. Post 22 doubled its advantage in the second when Gantrish drove home Derek Griffin with an RBI single.

Concord (12-3), already assured a spot in the state tournament next week, rallied for three runs off Lebanon starting pitcher Cody Turgeon and made the reversal stick. Turgeon took the loss, allowing the three runs on six hits over three innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

Parker, Gantrish and Kobe Benoit all had two-hit games for Lebanon, which amassed 10 hits. Post 22 visits Laconia Post 1 on Friday night at Memorial Field.

MEN’S BASKETBALL Dartmouth adds to staff

HANOVER — Steve Ongley has signed on an assistant coach for the Dartmouth College men’s basketball program, head coach David McLaughlin announced on Wednesday.

Ongley spent last winter on the staff at Columbia, which went 10-18 overall and 5-9 in the Ivy League. Ongley’s resume includes a coaching stint at Colby College in Maine, a time as video coordinator at Boston University and a coaching run at Daniel Hand High School in Connecticut.

Ongley is no stranger to the Dartmouth campus, having worked at Dartmouth Elite Camps the past four summers.




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